All posts by Gina Patterson

Increase Inquiries with LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads

LinkedIn Lead Gen Ads for Education

As more prospective students are using mobile devices as part of their enrollment journey, LinkedIn lead generation ads are making the process more efficient. The professional networking platform recently rolled out a new ad type: lead generation ads. These ads allow LinkedIn members to submit their contact and profile information directly within the LinkedIn mobile app without having to manually type their information.

LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads

“With Lead Gen Forms, your institution can drive a high volume of qualified student leads at a conversion rate that outperforms standard campaigns. Prospective students appreciate the frictionless way they can submit a form in just a couple of clicks. And marketing teams value the quality and accuracy of the data because it’s based on LinkedIn member profiles.”

-Ira Amilhussin, Sr. Marketing Manager, LinkedIn

LinkedIn also makes it easy to obtain the submissions from prospective students through third-party integrations or by downloading a .csv file. Currently, LinkedIn integrates with Driftrock and Zapier, and has plans for integrations with several more third-parties rolling out in 2017 and beyond.

[Tweet “LinkedIn lead generation ads are making the enrollment process more efficient. #EDU #edtech”]

Have you implemented LinkedIn lead generation ads into your digital advertising strategy? We would love to hear more about your experience with Lead Gen Ads. Leave your initial thoughts in the comments below or contact us with your ideas. 

7 Principles of Conversion-Centered Design: The Higher Ed Edition


Brendan Sera-Shriar, Co-Founder and Conversion Strategist at Montreal-based design firm DayChamp, shared his approach to the seven principles of conversion-centered landing page design at #Converge2017.

[Tweet “Landing pages are an integral component of any successful digital recruitment campaign.”]

Colleges and universities are constantly on the hunt for prospective students who fit their target, and landing pages are an integral component of any successful digital recruitment campaign. Here are seven principles to guide your landing page design and strategy:

  1. Attention ratio
    This is the ratio of interactive elements (links) on a page vs. your conversion goal—inquire about my MBA program, download a brochure, attend an info session. Always focus the user’s attention on one thing and one thing only.
  2. Credibility
    Use trust signals and be transparent. People need to trust your brand if they’re going to give you anything—an email, a phone number or even their name. Add testimonials and authentic images to establish trust with users who visit your page.


  1. Conversion coupling
    Consistency is key. This is the pre-click experience vs. the post-click landing experience. Make sure your ad creative and messaging match what’s presented on your landing pages.
  2. Contextual design
    Put the user’s experience into context with his/her environment. It’s easy to highlight accolades, use jargon and think within the scope of what you want external audiences to know about your program. It’s more difficult, but absolutely imperative, to put yourself in your prospective students’ shoes. Make sure the experience and content on your landing page will make sense to the user.
  3. Congruent Design
    Ensure all elements—colors, fonts, forms, buttons, images, text—on your page produce a cohesive experience. All elements should work together, not against each other.


  1. Clarity
    Landing pages should deliver a simple, easily digestible and delightful experience. Make the next step clear and uncomplicated for users.
  2. Conversion Continuance
    Find ways to encourage additional conversions. Include kickback emails, implement thank you pages, registration confirmations or workflows with additional calls-to-action that guide prospective students through the enrollment process.


Want more landing page best practices?

Follow DayChamp on Twitter and check out this infographic that details key components of high-performing landing pages for colleges and universities.

How to Reach Your Prospects with Pinterest Advertising


Advertising on Pinterest is relatively new, but it’s already a great way for higher education marketers to reach prospective students. With Pinterest’s three campaigns, higher education institutions can reach students at various stages of the recruitment funnel. Since 50 percent of Pinterest users are international, Pinterest advertising can also help you diversify your upcoming cohort.

[Tweet “50% of Pinterest users are international. Diversify your upcoming cohort by advertising on Pinterest.”]


Awareness Campaigns

Brand awareness campaigns on Pinterest are ideal for prospective students who are at the top of the recruitment funnel and beginning to think about choosing a college or university. Keeping your brand at the top of your prospective students’ minds is key to a successful brand awareness campaign.

Engagement Campaigns

Engagement campaigns on Pinterest are great for targeting prospective students who are further in the recruitment funnel and have already seen ads from various institutions based on their online activity. With engagement campaigns, Pinterest can track your audience’s signals of intent – for example, when a prospective student repins, clicks or looks at a close-up view of a promoted pin.

Traffic Campaigns

Traffic campaigns on Pinterest direct traffic to your website. With a traffic campaign, prospective students can take the next step in the decision-making process by exploring your website or inquiring about a specific program.

You might be asking, “Now that I know about the different campaigns, how do I target my ideal student?” Within the Pinterest platform, you can do this in multiple ways. Like other social platforms, Pinterest utilizes remarketing, custom list targeting and ‘actalike’ audiences. Pinterest also allows you to target prospective students who have already engaged with a pin from your domain by interest or specific keywords they may be searching for within the platform.



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How To Improve Your AdWords Quality Score

Want to rank above your number one competitor or decrease your cost per click? No matter your goal, improving the three components that make up your quality score is a great place to start optimizing your campaigns. But how do you do that?

[Tweet “No matter your goal, improve these 3 components to start optimizing your campaigns.”]

Start with these three components:

Expected Click-Through Rate


This is the percentage of people you expect to click your ad.

Helpful Hints:

  • Set aggressive bids initially to ensure your ads are positioned in the top spots.
  • Take advantage of ad extensions. Depending on your goals, there are multiple ad extensions you can utilize. Call extensions, callout extensions, sitelink extensions and structured snippet extensions are my favorites.
  • Implement expanded text ads. Newly released to all advertisers on Google, expanded text ads allow you to include more copy than standard text ads and can lead to higher CTR.


Ad Relevance

This refers to the relevance of your text ad and what users are searching for.

Helpful Hints:

  • Get to know your target audience. The better you know your target audience, the more likely you are to know exactly what they will be searching for.
  • Create ad groups with a theme in mind so your ads correlate with your keywords. This allows you to use keywords in your ad headlines and ad copy.
  • Include keywords in the display URL. The more keywords a user sees in the ad that appears after they search, the more likely they are to click it.


Landing Page Experience

Is your landing page relevant, transparent and easy to navigate?

Helpful Hints:

  • Align keywords and ad copy with your landing page copy. This creates the best user experience.
  • When using forms, be transparent with your privacy policy. Users are more likely to give information online when they know it will be protected.
  • Make sure your landing page is mobile responsive. More than half of all Google searches occur on a mobile device. Meet your prospective students where they are.


Interested in learning more about expanded text ads? Check out Hayley Warack’s latest blog post.

How to Reach More Prospects with Facebook Lookalike Audiences

One of my favorite tools within Facebook Business Manager is the lookalike audiences tool. When created from strong custom audiences, lookalike audiences are one of the most successful targeting strategies for higher education marketers to reach more prospective students on Facebook.

[Tweet “Lookalike audiences are one of the most successful targeting strategies for #highered marketers!”]

Past Leads

What better way to reach more prospective students than building a lookalike audience based on users who have already converted? According to Facebook, this is the most effective lookalike audience. When utilizing this option, Facebook is able to use demographic information from users who have previously converted through your Facebook advertising efforts. However, there’s a minimum of 200 leads with this strategy, so it’s important to run campaigns for a few months to build a strong history of leads.

[Tweet “What better way to reach prospects than a lookalike audience based on already converted users?”]

Custom Audiences

Custom audiences can be built in two different ways. The first is using a student list. To utilize a student list, 200 email addresses or phone numbers must match with those of actual Facebook users. These audiences can be built from a prospective student list, current student list or even a past student list. Lookalike audiences based on a student list can be very effective because they allow Facebook to find users similar to students who have already shown interest or enrolled in your program.


The second way to utilize custom audiences is building a lookalike audience based on the audience that previously visited your institution’s program pages or landing pages. This audience is built by placing Facebook’s pixel on these specific pages. Once this audience has been built from at least 200 users, the option to create a lookalike audience from these users becomes available.

Page Likes

Building a lookalike audience based on page likes means that Facebook finds users similar to the users who already “like” your page and are interested in your institution. This is a great strategy to take advantage of at the launch of a campaign. You can reach new prospective students while growing large enough audiences to use the other lookalike audience options.


Can’t get enough digital advertising insights? Join our VP of Digital Strategy, Hayley Warack, at our digital advertising pre-conference session in Palm Springs to stay ahead of what’s new and next in digital advertising for higher education.

How Recruitment Can Benefit from Facebook’s Growth

I recently attended a webinar, “Facebook Takes on Google and Wins.” The presenters discussed the best ways to utilize Facebook advertising and exciting takeaways we can expect from Facebook in the future.

One of the most exciting takeaways is the growth in social media inquiries for higher education – almost two-thirds year over year. This means more prospective students are using social media to help them choose the right institutions and programs.

[Tweet “Social media inquiries for higher education are increasing by almost two-thirds year over year.”]

How can higher ed marketers make sure they are taking advantage of everything Facebook has to offer?

Utilize custom audiences.

Custom audiences are one of the most dominating and successful audiences on Facebook. Custom audiences can be built by placing a pixel on your program pages and landing pages to target users who have previously visited these pages and are already familiar with your institution.


Implement lookalike audiences.

Lookalike audiences help marketers extend their reach beyond their current target audiences. The most powerful way to utilize a lookalike audience is to build an audience based on users who have already converted. Facebook uses demographic information from users who have previously converted through your Facebook advertising efforts to find similar users.


Engage prospective students with video.

Video has the highest engagement on Facebook. The first three seconds of a video are most important. Seventy percent of people who engage with the first three seconds of a video are more likely to finish the video. It’s best practice to use videos that are between 15 and 30 seconds. Videos should also be optimized without sound, making imagery and captions extremely important.


Interested in learning more about how digital advertising can positively affect your recruitment? Sign up for our digital advertising pre-conference session in Palm Springs at Converge 2017!

The New Facebook Pixel: Transition Time is Now

The New Facebook Pixel: Transition Time is Now

The new Facebook pixel was first released a few months ago, but by mid-2016, Facebook will completely transition to the new pixel. Although an exact transition date has not yet been released, advertisers should make the transition sooner rather than later to ensure all accounts track goals as accurately as possible. The transition involves rebuilding your existing campaigns with the new Facebook pixel.

The new Facebook pixel essentially combines the current custom audience pixel and the conversion-tracking pixel, streamlining the process for marketers to track their goals. One big change is that the new Facebook pixel provides two different conversion options:

Standard Events

Standard events allow advertisers to select an option related to their goals so Facebook can more accurately optimize to those goals.

Currently there are 10 standard event categories: view content, search, add to wishlist, add to cart, initiate checkout, add payment info, purchase, lead and complete registration.

To implement your chosen standard event, insert the appropriate snippet of code directly after the Facebook pixel.

Facebook pixel blog image 1

Custom Conversions

Custom conversions allow advertisers to track and optimize for conversions without adding extra code to their sites.

Custom conversions can be set up using three different parameters by including traffic that meets the following: URL contains, URL equals or event.

Facebook pixel blog image 2

The next step in implementing custom conversions is choosing a category that best fits the custom conversion. As noted within the Facebook Business Manager platform, this category isn’t dependent on the pixel code and doesn’t need to match any standard events.

Facebook pixel blog image 3

As I mentioned above, it’s best to make the transition to the new Facebook pixel as soon as possible and build out new accounts with the new pixel.

Do you have questions about the new Facebook pixel? Maybe you have general questions related to digital advertising for higher education? Register for our upcoming digital advertising webinar, where the content will be completely driven by your questions.

Start Engaging International Students in Admissions

At Converge 2015, Melissa King of CollegeWeekLive presented the findings that CollegeWeekLive collected through research with Ruffalo Noel Levitz and Eduventures. Through this research, they were able to discover the concerns and motivations of prospective international students as well as to discover key findings from international students once they are admitted to U.S. institutions.

Since it is important to provide students with the information that they desire, these findings are helpful to any institution that has a goal of enrolling more international students.

Although there were some differences, undergraduate and graduate students had many of the same concerns and motivations for studying abroad.

Key takeaways from research with Ruffalo Noel Levitz:

Although the main motivation for undergraduate and graduate students to study abroad is because of their interest in a particular college or university, over 70% will apply to at least 3 different institutions. Meaning prospective students still want to keep their options open.

Top concerns of potential students and information to include on your website:

  • Financial requirements for study abroad and scholarships/financial aid available
  • Visa requirements
  • How your institution helps undergraduate students overcome the concern of not having family or friends nearby
  • Virtual campus tour – Over 50% of prospective students had no plans to visit campus before applying
  • Parent information – Over 60% of undergraduate students make their college decision with their parents, and the trend is only increasing

The most influential resource for both groups was a college website:

  • The most viewed content area on the website is the academic program listing/majors and cost/financial aid

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly:

  • 78% of undergraduate and 69% of graduate students view college websites on a mobile device

Communicate with prospective students throughout the entire recruitment process (before application to after the decision to enroll):

  • The top preferred communication channel for both groups is email, followed by meeting reps at in-person college fairs and instant messaging (live chat)
  • 80% of both groups are interested in virtual meetings with an institution of interest

Key takeaways from research with Eduventures:

Top reason for not enrolling in US university was for financial reasons.

Your website is the most important place to provide information:

  • 23% of students didn’t know enough about the institution where they were accepted and did not enroll

Keep your social media channels up-to-date with relevant information:

  • A prospective international student visited social media channels on average 7 times during the recruitment process

56% of students did not visit the institution they enrolled in.

Interested in gaining more student recruitment tactics? Register for Converge 2017 and save with our early bird discount!

Learn How to Create a Digital Advertising Story

 Have you ever wondered what it takes to build a successful digital advertising strategy to drive quality leads at your institution?

Hayley Warack from Converge Consulting and Caitlin Way from the University of Missouri’s execMBA program gave an enlightening presentation on their successful digital advertising strategy at Converge 2015 in New Orleans.

To begin, the presenters shared a few important statistics:

  • 53% of prospective students use search engines to look up schools
  • 47% are using a smart phone to research where to get their education
  • Total education queries grow 33% year over year
  • 32% use search engines to compare schools

They then explained what it takes to create a quality lead-driving strategy:

Develop personas that contain key information about your target audience

It is important to develop personas that reflect individuals who are within your target audience. Personas make it easier to be able to more effectively target these individuals. Some key information that should be included in personas are: demographics, background, goals, behaviors and interests, challenges and pain points, and key factors/information.

Digital Advertising philosophy

The digital advertising philosophy in which Hayley and Caitlin utilized includes three phases: attract, convert and delight.

The attract phase is the digital advertising itself. Digital advertising includes SEM, display and social media advertising. A benefit of SEM is that users usually search by program and have more intent, making them a more qualified lead. A benefit of display and social media advertising is that advertisers are able to reach a larger target audience for a lower cost.

The convert phase is all about landing pages. It is important for institutions to have a landing page that follows best practices so that a large percentage of visitors to the landing page can be converted into leads. Here are some steps to creating a high-converting landing page:

  • Step 1: Define your goals
  • Step 2: Write persuasive copy
  • Step 3: Incorporate compelling creative
  • Step 4: Use actionable CTA’s and user-friendly forms
  • Step 5: Create a conversion-centered design (make sure it is mobile responsive)
  • Step 6: Direct users to a thank you page

The delight phase is the communication workflow that is used one the user has converted on the landing page. It is extremely important for institutions to have a strong communication workflow to ensure they turn as many leads into students as possible. A few simple steps to the communication workflow can be found below:

  • Qualify the lead
  • Lead them to the next step
  • Make the sale

After explaining what it takes to create a quality lead-driving strategy, Hayley and Caitlin then shared the results. Their digital advertising efforts lead to a cohort with more students being more qualified and more diverse than the year before. More specifically they saw:

  • 10% increase in students
  • 12% increase in leadership experience
  • 11% increase in states represented
  • 7% increase in advanced degree holders
  • 7% increase in average salary

Do you want more insight on how to be a successful digital advertiser in higher education? Sign up for Converge 2017 today for more new and next ideas.

How to Manage and Optimize Digital Advertising Campaigns for Best ROI

You’ve set up a new digital advertising campaign and it recently launched. Congratulations! Now what? Do you sit back, hope for the best and wait to see conversions, or do you proactively manage and optimize the campaigns regularly?

You probably could have guessed that the correct answer is the latter. Initial campaign management and regular optimization are key to seeing the best ROI of your digital advertising investment.

Within each of your ad platforms, it is important to make sure the following things are happening during the first few weeks of running a campaign:

  • All campaigns and ad sets are delivering to appropriate target audiences.
  • Adjust campaign budgets to ensure you are reaching a large enough audience.
  • Make sure remarketing lists are continuing to grow if you are running a remarketing campaign. 

When optimizing a campaign, it is important to remember that there are a variety of ways to optimize depending on your advertising budget, target audience, etc. Within each advertising platform, there are performance metrics you should pay attention to when optimizing. For example, there are many more ways to optimize campaigns within the Google AdWords interface simply because of its complexity.

Below are a few key metrics to pay attention to when optimizing campaigns using Google AdWords and social media advertising.

Within Google AdWords, pay attention to these key metrics:

  • Keyword performance (specifically for AdWords Search campaigns)
    • Adding new keywords and implementing a negative keyword list are both essential to keyword optimization.
  • Bid adjustments
    • Within Google AdWords, there are many ways to set bid adjustments – location bid adjustments, device bid adjustments and schedule bid adjustments. The specific bid adjustments to implement vary from campaign to campaign. For some campaigns, bid adjustments in all possible areas make sense, while for others, bid adjustments in just one or two possible areas will allow for best campaign performance.
  • Ad position
    • The Google AdWords interface assigns a number for ad position. The ideal ad position is between 1 and 3. If the number is higher than 3, your ad is likely not getting as much visibility as it could, and you’re probably getting fewer clicks, a lower click through rate (CTR) and aren’t reaching your conversion goals.

Within social media advertising platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), these are a few key metrics you should pay attention to when optimizing:

  • Budget allocation
    • Based on each campaign and ad set performance, it is important to adjust budgets to ensure you are reaching your target audience. If you are advertising on multiple platforms, it is also helpful to use a reporting tool to monitor your budgets so you can ensure your campaigns stay on budget.
  • Targeting options
    • Within each social media advertising platform, there are a multitude of ways to reach your target audience. Through optimization, you can figure out which targeting options perform best based on your specific audience. Don’t be afraid to test out different options or even layer targeting options in the same campaign!
  • Update ad copy and images
    • Regularly optimizing ad copy and images ensures that your target audience doesn’t constantly see the same message. Review the performance metrics to determine copy that performs best for each of your target audiences.
  • Boosted posts
    • If boosted posts are part of your digital advertising strategy on Facebook or Twitter, boosting posts that are recent and relevant to your target audience allows you to reach a wider audience than just the people who “like” your page on Facebook or “follow” you on Twitter.

Want to learn more about digital advertising? Register for our digital advertising post conference session at Converge 2015 next month with myself and Converge Vice Presidents, Hayley Warack and Robyn Anderson. We will review digital advertising best practices and various channels and strategies.

We can’t wait to see you there!

2015 eduWeb Digital Summit Session Highlights

posted by on August 04, 2015 in Converge Blog

2015 eduWeb Digital Summit Session Highlights

As I think about my experience at eduWeb last week, I think about all of the amazing sessions I attended, speakers I listened to and industry professionals I was able to meet.

Since eduWeb was the first conference I experienced as a professional, my goal was to attend as many sessions as possible and take in all that the conference had to offer. I was excited to learn as much as I could and interact with new people each day.

I achieved that goal and highlighted three of my favorite sessions below:

Oh Snap! Using Snapchat for Fun and Engagement

By Lindsay Nyquist, Social Media & Video Coordinator at Fort Lewis College


Institutions can no longer ignore Snapchat as a way to interact with prospective and current students. In her session, Nyquist explained how Snapchat is different. What makes Snapchat different is that it’s authentic. It is authentic in that it’s urgent, temporary, and anonymous(ish). Oh Snap! Using Snapchat for Fun and Engagement, outlined the top 10 uses of Snapchat in higher education.

A few of my favorite uses of Snapchat that Nyquist mentioned:

  • Show off campus. Use Snapchat as a way to show off all that your campus has to offer. One good way to show off your campus is through residence hall tours. Prospective students love to picture what it will be like to live in a residence hall and get a glimpse into what college living is all about.
  • Run a contest. Contests are ideal for getting your current students to engage with your institution’s Snapchat account. One idea is to take a picture of a close-up somewhere on campus. The first person to meet you at this location wins the contest.
  • Broadcast an event. There is always so much happening on college campuses, and Snapchat is a great way to show current and prospective students the different events that take place. This will encourage current students to attend more events, as well as show prospective students the many fun activities they can attend at your institution.

With Snapchat, it is important to take note of your story interactions through views and screenshots. This helps you get a better idea of what students would like to see more of. Take note of the stories with the most screenshots – it’s a good opportunity to create stories with similar content and achieve increased engagement.

Panel: The Most Important Digital Lead Generation Strategies for Online & On-Campus Programs?

By Ken Bohman, Michelle Lauer and Alex Rudd of Lucid Agency, Steve Townsend, Director of Marketing and Communications at Wayne State University and Julie Kent, Director of Digital Marketing at Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business


In terms of digital marketing, lead generation can be defined as the process of interacting with prospective students on the web and encouraging them to provide information.

The lead generation panel answered many important questions higher education marketers face each day. A few key questions are highlighted below:

  • What digital lead strategies are best in higher education? In terms of awareness, the strategies differ depending on the school. This means that not all lead generation strategies are going to be the same from institution to institution or even across different programs at the same institution. To have the best strategy, it is important to first understand your target audience.
  • How do you maximize the ROI of PPC campaigns? Institutions should give a value offer when completing a form or to implement seasonal budgeting. A good example of a value offer is allowing prospective students to view a class profile. When implemented properly, seasonal budgeting can attribute to an increased number of conversions and a decreased cost per lead.
  • What platforms generate high quality leads? In terms of graduate programs, such as MBA programs, LinkedIn provides many high quality leads.
  • What students should I retarget? The average student takes two months before contacting an institution. Users that visit a custom landing page or started to fill out a request for information form should be retargeted. When retargeting these users, it is important to keep in mind that each group should be served a different ad.

Education Marketing in a Connected World

By Closing Keynote Speaker Lee McCabe, Global Vertical Market/Strategy Lead, Facebook


As we continue to become more connected by technology every day, it is important to note the opportunity for education marketing.

McCabe explained that text in social media posts is declining 10 percent each year, photos are increasing 35 percent and video is increasing more than 100 percent. These statistics make it obvious that video cannot be ignored. Users want to feel more engaged with the social media posts they are viewing, and video satisfies that desire.

Another key point of McCabe’s keynote session is that everything competes. For example, 60 percent of people use two or more devices per day while 40 percent of people use three devices per day.

Since so many people are using multiple devices per day, it is important to remember that “the thumb is in charge.” To connect with your target audience, it’s about people, not cookies. Targeting ads to specific individuals across multiple devices makes for a much more successful campaign than simply installing cookies on just one device.

When it comes to lead generation, big data allows companies to understand people, target them and work with them based on specific information. In lead generation, it’s important to be globally consistent, but locally relevant. As marketers, we should use the same key tactics across multiple campaigns, but also make sure to target specific users based on what we know about them, keeping our targeting locally relevant.

Lee McCabe closed his keynote speech by reminding his audience that social marketing is just marketing. It is important that we are using real business metrics, not just social metrics, to measure the effectiveness of our efforts.

I had an incredible time at eduWeb, where I learned many useful tips on higher education marketing. I encourage you to attend next year.

Save the date for another great higher ed conference, Converge 2015, on October 21-22 in New Orleans, Louisiana. You’ll hear from some of the best minds in higher education and discover new ways to revolutionize your marketing.

Register today!

Tips to Engage Young Alumni from a Recent Graduate

“Congratulations! How does it feel to be a college graduate?” This is a question that I have been asked countless times in the past week since I graduated from Iowa State University. To be honest, my answer to this question is that it doesn’t quite feel real yet. I know that many of my peers feel the same way.

We aren’t sure yet what it feels like to know that we won’t be having a “normal” three-month summer vacation followed by reunions with friends at school in the fall. For as long as we can remember, this is the only lifestyle we have known. Right now, many of us are preparing for our first real full time job, others are continuing their education, and some are still trying to figure it all out.

So, what are some ways that our alma maters can keep us engaged at such a transitional time in our lives?

1. Connect with us and be active on social media.

As alumni we are proud of our alma mater and love to feel like we are still part of the action. Being active on multiple forms of social media is a great way for institutions to keep their young alumni informed of what is happening on campus as well as ways to give back. Make sure there are specific posts targeted toward young alumni.

[Tweet “As alumni we are proud of our alma mater and love to still be a part of the action.”]

Not only does this make us feel important, but it also gives current students that follow your institution on social media a bit of insight as to the expectations of an alum. It’s never too late to start transforming current students into engaged alumni!

In addition to frequent social media posts, LinkedIn groups that are targeted toward alumni are a great way to keep us connected not only to our alma mater, but to other alumni as well.

2. Give us something to look forward to.

For many of us, the years we spent in college were some of the greatest years of our lives. Because of this, we would jump at the next chance to get back on campus with our fellow classmates and friends. Nearly every institution has an event that is special to current students and alumni. Whether that event is homecoming, a sporting event, or an annual cookout, making sure alumni are fully informed is key to keeping us connected.

[Tweet “Utilizing social media is a great way to engage with alumni.”]

Utilizing social media is a great way to let alumni know the details of the event and build excitement leading up to the event. Alumni that are excited about the event are more likely to get their friends excited to attend the event as well. The more alumni that are coming back to campus, the better!

3. Encourage us to join alumni groups in our area.

After graduation, many alumni move to areas that are new to us. When institutions let us know of alumni groups in our area and encourage us to join them, we automatically have a network of people that we can begin to build relationships with. Being connected to other alumni in our area gives us the opportunity to stay connected to our alma mater from far away. Reminiscing about special events at our alma mater is a way that we can feel easily connected to the people that we meet in our local alumni group. These are the people we might even plan a trip back to campus with!

It is important to keep in mind that if we aren’t engaged right away, it will be much harder to engage us down the road. Keep the conversation going. The stronger the relationship you have with your alumni right away, the more likely it is that they will give back to their institution over time. The more connected we feel, the more likely we are to give back to keep improving programs and current student experiences.

[Tweet “If alumni aren’t engaged right away, it will be harder to engage them later.”]

For more information about engaging alumni, download our white paper on Alumni Donor Motivation.