Engaging Alumni on Social Media: What Works

Member Exclusive

Social media strategies for engaging alumni: Read the findings from a survey of 109 professionals at nonprofit colleges and universities who are tasked with engaging alumni on social media.

Social media tools provide more opportunities to engage alumni. Yet, pressed for time, alumni relations and annual giving professionals often approach their efforts to engage alumni on social media with some basic uncertainties:

  • How often should I post?
  • What topics should I post about?
  • Should our social media feed be celebratory, nostalgic, or primarily about asking for gifts?
  • What kinds of posts are most likely to bring a positive response from engaged alumni?

In December 2015, Academic Impressions and Tim Ponisciak partnered in a survey of 109 professionals at nonprofit colleges and universities who are tasked with engaging alumni on social media.

In our survey, we asked respondents about:

  • The degree to which their use of social media is coordinated and strategic
  • What posts on their social media platforms have been especially successful in engaging alumni

We also collected examples of high-engagement posts and analyzed them for commonalities in topic, tone, and approach. We wanted to know what types of posts appeal the most to higher ed alumni, in order to share with you what has been
working best for your peers.

In this member exclusive paper, we want to share with you seven key findings.


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You can also learn more in the recorded webcast Strategizing for Social Media in Advancement or in Tim Ponisciak's book Innovative Strategies for Annual Giving and Alumni Relations: Lessons from the Corporate World.