Using Social Networks for Alumni What are social networks? It’s likely you use them already.  Social networks are online communities such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn where people can create profiles, share news, photos, videos, information and contacts.  How can social networks be used for alumni relations? Social networks can be used as one means to reach out to and communicate with your alumni.  You could set up a Facebook page to publish news about your school or university, post events, photos, even ask questions.  In return, your alumni can post questions for you, give you immediate feedback on ideas, and so on.  In short, be where your alumni go everyday online - realistically, few are likely to be checking your website on a daily basis. Which social networks should I use? Facebook has hundreds of millions of users and most people under the age of 35 will have a profile.  Target news that appeals to a younger demographic. Twitter is great for publicising links to news stories, events, photos, etc. which you have posted elsewhere online, for example on your website.  Simply copy the URL to your story, based it into Twitter with a line like: ‘Great article on X + Link’ and you’ll drive traffic to your website. LinkedIn is the ultimate business networking site.  People exchange contacts, make introductions, and generally organise their professional lives here.  You could start a group or groups for your alumni to they can network amongst themselves. There are numerous other social networking sites such as Bebo, MySpace and Digit, and you need to think about which your alumni use.  Why don’t you do a survey and ask them? Read about social networking for charities   People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities See it on Amazon. © Orier Digital Limited 2012