September 6, 2013
Storytelling has always been a powerful method of transmitting culture and values while keeping your audience engaged. It’s no different in social media, where stories can keep your alumni involved in the ongoing traditions of their alma mater. Here are some effective social media storytelling techniques that will help you keep your alumni active with your institution.
What Makes You Unique?
It’s been a long time since the days when your alumni were searching the world of Higher Education trying to find the institution right for them. Some may have forgotten that unique quality that once made them enroll. One method for helping them remember is to invite current students to share posts on why they chose you. New students can remind your alumni of the excitement they felt when they first got admitted. Most likely, the stories of how new students found and fell in love with your campus are similar to the stories of your alumni when they enrolled. Invite new students to write a two-sentence tweet on why they’re excited about attending your college. Post the question on your campus alumni Facebook page and let both alumni and new students post replies telling their story.
Chances are your campus and/or surrounding community has their own iconic images, whether a specific building, sports stadium, statue, commons, etc. Reengage your alumnus with the campus images that they most likely passed on a daily basis. Those iconic images will remind them of the unique culture in which they were immersed during their education. Tell your story of what a specific image means to you and invite others to do the same. The exchange of stories will create the engagement you’re looking for.
Your college works hard putting together fun and meaningful events year round. This should be highlighted, celebrated and promoted across all of your social media channels. Showing your active involvement in enriching the college experience will keep your alumni thinking about the institution. Furthermore, getting alumni engagement on event posts is a great lead-in to inviting alumni back to campus for in-person relationship building.
Who doesn’t like hearing about the famous members of their respective alma mater? If your campus has famous alumni, find them, know them and tell their story. You won’t believe the comments, likes and follows generated by telling the stories of your famous alumni.
People care about traditions. They connect each new generation of students to the generations that preceded them by sharing in the same activities, events and customs. Sharing the story of your school’s traditions as current students partake in them is a great way to connect alumni back to the campus they called home for a time. Those campus traditions will help your alumni recognize that they remain a vital part of their alma mater’s history and future.
Highlight News Stories and Pop-Culture
The news and other media can sometimes provide you with the easiest ways to engage alumni in the ongoing story of your institution. If there is a significant accomplishment or development at your university highlighted in a news story, capture it, post it and let them tell the story. References to your campus in pop culture, whether in movies, TV, music etc. will always provide you with a great story to engage your alumni audience.
Social media is the perfect environment for connecting with your alumni and fostering relationships that may lead to donations and campus support. Using the best storytelling methods on social media sites will keep your alumni interested in the ongoing culture of your institution. Following these simple suggestions will provide a great blueprint for a comprehensive social media storytelling strategy.