According to a recent study, almost half of the employees plan to stay with their employer for very little time, usually not more than two years. It is observed that people are changing jobs more frequently than ever and employers must accept this fact.
Certainly, this can be also be assumed as an opportunity for the long term. These professionals ought to develop new skills, challenge themselves, and gain insights that you were likely unable to provide.
Meanwhile, if cultivated and engaged properly, your alumni can be a strong resource for qualified talent and referrals which is why so many companies are relying on these relationships. Also, 40% of people would consider returning to their previous employer.
Surely, creating true alumni engagement means you create a thriving, pre-qualified pipeline of talent for an organization. A pool of talent that hires quicker performs better and, once they come back, tend to stay on for the long term. As one might imagine, having a strong alumni communication and engagement strategy, and a platform that supports it is vital for ensuring the success of all parties.
We have underlined below the best techniques to engage your alumni network.
DRIVE SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
It is observed, allowing your alumni community to easily share your news, events, videos, pictures or any content across all social channels can yield massive results if you make it easy to do so. Create easily shared and user-friendly, one-click messaging and you will easily increase followings across social platforms.
ENSURE EASY COMMUNICATION
Make it easy for alumni to communicate with your company, leadership, and perhaps even each other. Analyzing the success of your program is going to be based on how well you’re creating ongoing interactions with your alumni on as many channels as possible, such as email, your website, and even social media. If your platform has been integrated with a mobile app or has had one created then make sure to send your alumni members in-app messages, nudges, and text messages showcasing company changes and rewards earned for telling others.
When you’re keeping your alumni community in the loop about events or other items such as product/service updates, job postings and the like, you should be doing so through multiple channels. Having your engagement platform on a custom app where information is sent directly to their Apple & Android devices makes it super simple for your community to not only receive content but to share it on all their social media channels and thus become alumni brand ambassadors.
CUSTOMIZED ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
One needs to understand that no alumni relationship is exactly like another. You need to segment and tailor different engagement activities based on each user type and creating customized activities for your alumni makes them feel special and appreciated.
PLAN EVENT UPDATES AND CHECK-IN
Creating early notice and access to upcoming alumni events and gatherings where your alumni community can be rewarded for live check-in at your events not only encourages attendance and unique interaction with your company but it stimulates loyalty and makes you stand out from the crowd. Also, the events can be online instead of in-person and subjects might include: professional development, industry research, current news, and executive interviews.
Finally, when it comes to your alumni program and the rewards you offer, you have to remain nimble. For rewards, as mentioned above, get feedback and adapt so you’re offering rewards that motivate. For the program, build in regular assessment periods and adjust your program based on the data and feedback plus look for ways to tie everything into your alumni’s lives—be it holidays, graduations, birthdays, back to school or the changing seasons. Setting up automatic engagement triggers like these for each alumni segment gives that personal touch without adding extra work.
It should come as no surprise that people, including alumni, love immediate communication and gratification. Reducing the time it takes between completing the alumni engagement activities you’ve created (i.e., generating a referral, sharing company news, leaving a like or following on social media, etc.) and obtaining their reward, will make alumni engagement and activity less interested. Make sure you’re using automatic incentive fulfillment since it’s not only easier on your company but creates immediate positive reinforcement for your alumni members.
Constantly re-evaluate the program and see what activities and rewards are working best for your alumni network. Also, make sure to periodically survey users to ensure you are prepared to meet their upcoming wants and needs. Then combine those answers with the data from your system (reward program redemption rates, what activities are engaging them, when they are engaging, etc.) Once you have compiled everything you can tweak triggers, activities and implementing the user suggested rewards all of which build stronger engagement and partner loyalty.
MAKE IT INTERESTING
Custom-designed contests can be great for promoting new products/services, talent sourcing, and overall engagement. Including items like dynamic leaderboards which showcase top users and features grand prizes or other interactive gamification components, like daily trivia, will not only supercharge engagement but get your alumni community reacquainted with your company inside-and-out.
Part of the fun can be incorporating user-generated videos, photo galleries, blog posts and other forms of content for your entire alumni community to access anywhere they are. But, you can also use the same technology to create engaging company content personalized for your different alumni segments (HR, Sales, IT, etc.). Popular modules to build into your system include: industry compliance updates, product updates/upgrades, among many others.
Creating a program where alumni are engaged and made to feel appreciated is a great way to drive long term relationships and having a well-executed alumni engagement program is vital whether you’re a small business or an enterprise-level company. Alumni engagement is a proven strategy that works for generating new business and rejuvenating your talent pool with strong members since engaged alumni are much more likely to become boomerang employees and perhaps even some of your greatest brand ambassadors.
NextBee helps companies create full engagement programs that create loyalty, generate referrals and grow your brand’s ambassadors.
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