4 Tips to Leveraging Technology to Engage Your AlumniMarch 22, 2017
Picture this: It's 1980 and you are organizing a party for your best friend. It's the big 4-0. Where do you begin? Telephone calls, printed invitations - with custom stationary, gathering names, addresses, and telephone numbers, RSVP cards... the list goes on. Flash forward to present day and creating parties is as easy as a few clicks to get the ball going on Facebook. Technology has changed the game on engaging with others.
The same is true now for corporate alumni and technology solutions. When leveraged correctly, seemingly huge administrative tasks morph into an efficient and manageable process.
Process: It's the name of the game. Know your brand, manage your alumni data and program, and engage your audience externally as well as internally. Report on the results and demonstrate return on investment.
So if process is the name of the game, shouldn't the technology be sufficient enough to support our process? The question is no. Challenging that rule of thinking, SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions have evolved to do incredible amounts and various types of tasks. In the past we looked for technology to support our process, but it's safe now to look at how the robust solutions deliver best practices. Essentially, don't reinvent the wheel but modify the process on how the technology functions. If you still have needs that are not supported by the technology, evaluate how important that need is. If it is really important than you can customize the solution to support the specific need.
The solutions we mentioned are very flexible with look and feel and content management. Keep your brand fresh and update original content regularly. That capability should be a part of your solution. There is no need for your site to be static bi-annually.
Managing Alumni Data
Your SaaS solution is flexible to integrate with your internal systems, HRIS, CRM, and other existing platforms. This means access to greater abilities for data, segmentation and ultimately supporting internal customers.
Content management and message capabilities are commonplace in a powerful SaaS solution used to support corporate alumni. Dynamic event management, RSVP, and event reporting capabilities are also critical functions to minimize administrative costs and increase frequency with alumni engagement. Bringing together content, like career advice or CSR opportunities, even mentoring programs, are all techniques used to engage different groups of your alumni community. They're all online features too.
Report on Results and ROI
The only way any program survives in the corporate world today is if the program leaders have access to data that can build continuous business case and demonstrate return on investment (ROI) for senior leadership. The ability to access and segment, generate reports serve internal clients and identify current and future trends across such a vast amount of data is a key component.
The next time you create an event on Facebook and invite fifty people to it, just remember how nice it is to not lick all those stamps and make all those telephone calls. If you're considering investing in your corporate alumni technology, understand the solutions today are very specialized for this specific niche and most likely will get your program to a world class level if you leverage the technology successfully.