Engaging Alumni on Social Media

TalkingEDUSmall.jpgOf the many challenges that the marketing and communications departments at colleges and universities face, the greatest may be making the most of social media. Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of Facebook’s founding, and still many administrators, from admissions to alumni fundraising, continue to search for the key to building successful social media campaigns.

Tim Ponisciak, director of graduate alumni relations for Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, writing for Academic Impressions offers advice for Administrators looking to connect with alumni through social media. Ponisciak shares the findings of a survey of 109 professionals whose key focus is social media outreach for non-profit colleges and universities in a PDF available at academicimpressions.com.


Respondents were asked about two things:

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

Ponisciak’s analysis of these findings results in a number of recommendations that easily apply to creating effective social media campaigns beyond just alumni fundraising. Topics include:

  • Social media investment and the need for larger budgets and increasing social media staff
  • Frequency of postings and what platforms to focus on
  • The effect of a President’s presence on social media
  • Suggestions for expansion of social media efforts beyond Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Content recommendations

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