Social media is great for broadcasting your school’s message to your alumni, but how do you learn what your alumni are up to? This past week I led a web 2.0 lunch discussion on LinkedIn for Alumni Relations and how to use this tool to connect with alumni from our school. Anyone who works in alumni relations knows how hard it can be to get alums to share news about themselves. Many will share news about getting married and having babies, but they are shy when it comes to their jobs and accomplishments. This makes it especially hard when we are trying to learn more about a possible award recipient or bring in a speaker for a career lunch with students.
Enter LinkedIn, a fabulous resource for those of us working in alumni relations. Using the public profile feature, you can view what your alums are up, where they have studied after leaving your institution, and what careers they have gone on to pursue. Looking for an award recipient? Trying to help a student find an internship? These are just few ways that information found on LinkedIn can help you do your job faster and better.
Additionally, there are features on LinkedIn that help you further your relationships with your alums. Using the connections feature, you can see what alums this individual is connected to that you already have a relationship with. This can ultimately help facilitate a meeting for you. If you don’t currently “connect” with alums you can use LinkedIn’s send a message feature to directly connect with the person of interest. While you don’t have to be a member of LinkedIn to see these public profiles, I highly recommend joining and using all the features available to make new connects with your alums and strengthen all ready existing relationships.