Friday, October 28, 2011

The 30 Most Social Media Savvy Alumni Groups

Colleges across the nation are reaching out to current and prospective students through social media, helping them learn more about campus events, programs, and what the school can offer. More and more schools are realizing, however, that social interaction with students shouldn’t end once they graduate. Many alumni groups have started taking advantage of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube to keep in touch with students long after they’ve left campus. These tools not only make it easier for alumni groups to do a little fundraising, but can also be a great way for former students to stay in touch and make valuable connections that could help them find work in their post-graduation years.

While nearly every college alumni group has a social media presence, some have gone above and beyond in their efforts to connect with alumni. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the most savvy alumni groups out there (in no particular order) to showcase the true power social media can have in keeping students connected, engaged, and showing their school spirit long after graduation.

  1. DePaul University Alumni & Friends

    DePaul’s alumni society has taken advantage of the many social media offerings out there. They’ve been especially successful on LinkedIn, where the group currently has 12,708 members and reports with rapid monthly growth on the site ever since 2008 when they joined. Students and alumni can use the site to share information about jobs, network, and keep in touch — and many do. The alumni group has also created a presence on Twitter (@depaulalumni) with 1,874 followers, and has multiple pages on Facebook, including both a basic alumni site as well as a page called DePaul Alumni Sharing Knowledge (or ASK), an especially cool application of alumni social networking that lets current students more easily connect with graduates in their field of interest.

  2. MSU Alumni Association

    MSU’s alumni association has leveraged a wide range of tools to help connect alumni. Currently, the school uses LinkedIn and Twitter to share job leads with alumni and offers up advice on the job hunting process through YouTube. MSU has also been acute in understanding that older alumni might not be as social media-savvy as their younger counterparts, and the Alumni Career Services office gives tutorials and presentations about how to use social media at a variety of alumni events. While the group has a fair number of followers on Facebook (just under 5,000) and Twitter (@MichiganStateAA with 2,470), where it has really shone is on LinkedIn — through which there are over 32,500 members connected.

  3. UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association

    UC Santa Barbara’s alumni group is ridiculously well-represented in social media. The alumni association’s website lists hundreds of groups on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn that former students can look at and join, ranging from sporting groups to specific majors. The group’s main profiles on the big social networking sites have tens of thousands of followers, making them incredibly useful places for alumni to connect and learn about the school. In addition to the usual social sites, UCSB’s alumni group also has a Flickr stream, filled with pictures from alumni events, the campus, reunions, athletics, and other things on campus.

  4. K-State Alumni Association

    While Kansas State’s alumni group has a solid presence on a number of social networking sites, the group has developed networking capabilities on its own website as well. Alums can create a profile which allows them to find alumni groups in their area, search for former students, and get access to the monthly newsletters from the group. For those who aren’t interested in joining yet another social network, the school also has popular profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (@KStateAlumni). Perhaps one of the coolest, though not their most popular offering is a YouTube channel, where alumni can watch sports coverage and hear about campus events.

  5. The University of Iowa Alumni Association

    The University of Iowa’s alumni website has a special page dedicated just to promoting the school’s presence on social networks, as well as buttons to tweet, share, or like just about any content on their site. One of the main ways the group keeps in touch with alumni and keeps them engaged is through their Iowa Insider blog, where the UI Alumni Association staff share information about programs, events and the school. UI’s alumni group also has a very active Facebook page, where users post their own Hawkeye-related photos and content, as well as several profiles on LinkedIn and a regularly updated Twitter account (@uIowaAlumni).

  6. The MIT Alumni Association

    One would hope that a school known for being tech-savvy would have an alumni group that was leveraging the latest technologies to connect former students. Not to worry. MIT’s alumni group has been pretty good about branching out when it comes to social media. Former students can keep up with events at the school through the @MIT_alumni Twitter feed, post pictures and read interesting links on their Facebook page, or get some helping finding work through LinkedIn. Alums can also learn more about MIT, other alumni, and events on campus through the group’s Slice of MIT blog.

  7. Emory Alumni Association

    Emory’s Alumni Association is doing a great job keeping students connected through social media. They maintain a regularly updated blog called EAAvesdropping, have a Facebook page, a Twitter feed (@EmoryAlumni), and a LinkedIn profile. In addition to the social networking standards, Emory’s alumni association sometimes holds online chats with career coaches, allowing alumni can phone in and share ideas and career resources. These chats can later be downloaded as a podcast through iTunes. Even cooler, however, is the school’s mobile app, which not only provides resources for current students, but for alumni as well, allowing former students to connect through the school’s own online social network, EagleNet.

  8. Caltech Alumni Association

    Students who want to keep up with what’s going on at Caltech, have a number of options, as the school’s alumni association is all over social media. The biggest network for the school’s alumni association can be found through LinkedIn, where there is not only a main alumni group, but several others for specific majors and regions. On Facebook, the association maintains both a public alumni page and one exclusive to former students. Additionally, they have a presence on Twitter at @caltechalumni as well as a Flickr page where alums can share and browse photos.

  9. The Aggie Network

    Texas A&M’s alumni group has its own Facebook-like social site, MyAggieNetwork, where students can create a profile and link up with other alumni. There are also several subdivisions of the site, allowing students to engage with campus groups within their specific interests or careers. For students who don’t want to use the in-house network, there are a wide range of other options. The group maintains a budding LinkedIn group, an incredibly popular Facebook page (16,178 fans and growing), and two Twitter feeds, found at @AggieNetwork and @TexasAggie_mag. If students still need more, they can head to the alumni YouTube channel to watch videos about a wide range of campus events.

  10. OSU Alumni Association

    Oregon State University’s alumni association is another group that’s built its own social media site. Called Powered By Orange, the site allows alums to create a profile and network with other former students. Through the site, alumni can also use a Google Maps powered section to post their location, career, graduation year, and degree and to see where other students now call home. OSU alumni who want to show their school spirit can head the association’s Flickr stream to post photos of them with Benny, the school’s mascot. For those who need more, there is also a Facebook page, Twitter feed (@poweredbyorange), LinkedIn profile, and an RSS feed for the associations’ blog.

  11. Texas Exes

    The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni group is a brand in itself, known on the web as Texas Exes. One of the most impressive applications of their social networking presence is their photo sharing site, built just for the group, that allows alumni to share photos of themselves demonstrating the school’s signature "Hook ‘em, horns!" hand gesture, along with a brief bio. Former students can also connect through Facebook (with a whopping 37,193 fans at present), Twitter, and LinkedIn as well as finding fun content about the school through YouTube and Flickr accounts.

  12. Stanford Law School Alumni

    Stanford’s alumni group for their law school has created this own very impressive social networking site for alumni and current students. Not only can current and former students use the site to network, but it also offers access to legal wikis that alums can collaboratively change. The network has been so successful that the school plans to expand it further in coming years. The school is also quite connected outside of its own site, offering alumni the chance to keep up with the school and connect through Facebook, Twitter (@stanfordlaw), YouTube, LinkedIn, and a SLS blog.

  13. UCI Alumni Association

    The University of California-Irvine has taken a novel approach to getting alumni connected. The school created its own publicly available widget that pulls content from the school’s website. Alumni and fans of the school can access the widget through their phones or even post it on their Facebook profiles, which has helped the school meet some of its fundraising goals. The UCIAA also connects former students through profiles on facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, with a growing number of followers.

  14. BU Alumni Association

    Former grads from Boston University have a number of ways that they can keep in touch with other alumni through the school’s association. Students can register for and use the BUAA Online Community or simply head to the alumni association’s Facebook page, which current has 44,133 fans — a pretty sizeable network. There is also a pretty big following on LinkedIn, with 17,296 members in the group, and on Twitter (@bualumni), with 7,900 followers. Those numbers put the school’s alumni association in the top tier of popularity, as few other schools can boast as many fans, followers, or members.

  15. Notre Dame Alumni Association

    One of the biggest alumni associations out there, Notre Dame’s former students are staying connected when it comes to social media. Through the alumni association’s webpage, students, both current and former, can create a web profile, search for other alumni, and network amongst themselves. Of course, this isn’t the only option to connect with old college friends. Alumni can get job leads through the school’s LinkedIn alumni group, which has 23,022 members and growing. The school has also created a solid Facebook following, with over 7,700 students connecting through the alumni page.

  16. The Ohio State University Alumni Association

    Offers some pretty amazing ways for alumni to stay connected over the web. One of the coolest is an iPhone app that allows alumni and students to check in on a worldwide map, tracking game-watching parties and activities nationwide. Through the application, former students can also access the school’s Facebook page or even earn badges. The alumni group has also created popular connections on Facebook, Twitter (@OhioStateAlumni), and YouTube.

  17. Penn State Alumni Association

    Penn State Alumni Association’s webpage proudly announces their social networking connections front and center — and with good reason. The school’s alumni network on LinkedIn has 33,737 members to date. Their Facebook page is also a popular destination and many alumni post photos, memories, and links. The Alumni Association also shares photos through Flickr, updates alumni through Twitter (@PennStateAlums) and maintains a blog called The Penn Stater that students can follow through any RSS reader.

  18. Alumni Association of Princeton University

    The AA of Princeton U’s website offers a diverse collection of resources to help former students connect. There are TigerNet discussion groups, an alumni career network, and regularly updated streams about career and networking events. The school also gives alumni and current students access to two mobile apps, including one just for alumni reunions, making it easier for them to find information, maps, videos, and more. The school also engages students through Facebook, @princetonalumni on Twitter, and through several groups on LinkedIn.

  19. Nazareth College Alumni & Friends

    Through Nazareth College Alumni & Friends, former students can share photos, find classmates, get updates about events, and more. The alumni association is connecting in other ways as well, including a program to improve reunion attendance. The group created emails that encouraged alumni to forward information to other alums, with built-in maps that allowed them to track where the email went as it was forwarded on. In addition to these efforts, the group has created profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube.

  20. Cal Alumni Association

    With its own blog and @cal alumni community, the Cal Alumni Association’s website is a great social networking resource in itself, but it’s certainly not the only way former UC Berkeley students can connect. They’ve built a huge community of alumni on LinkedIn, with over 26,100 members to date. In addition, alumni can talk and share resources through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. And they may be unique in having their own foursquare account, checking in and providing information at some of the most well-known locations on campus.

  21. Brown Alumni Association

    Brown’s AA offers students some great resources for getting career help after graduation. First, there is BRUnet, the school’s career network, which helps alumni connect and network. The school also has a sizeable network on LinkedIn for students to use, with over 8,600 members. Of course, the Alumni Association reaches out to students who don’t need job help as well, with a very active Facebook page that has made major strides in fund-raising efforts. Perhaps a more fun take on alumni networking is the school’s Facebook page for the iconic Carrie Tower, which has the structure sharing info about campus.

  22. Colgate University Alumni

    Colgate University’s AA has branched out to all the usual places when it comes to connecting with social media, including accounts on Twitter (@colgatealumni) and Facebook. The group has also used social media in more novel ways, integrating Facebook Connect into its donation process and by uploading photos to its Flickr account for former students to look at and comment on. For students who need more content, the AA also uploads content to YouTube and iTunes.

  23. USC Alumni Association

    The USC AA boasts some pretty impressive numbers when it comes to online social networking. Their Facebook page has 12,357 fans and their LinkedIn group offers students a chance to connect with over 24,023 alumni. These, along with Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr accounts, offer students a wide range of ways to connect and the school is making the most of it. What is perhaps more impressive is the number of regional, international, generational, and cultural divisions the group offers. There are dozens of more specific groups alumni can connect with on Facebook and Twitter, making it easier than ever to find alums and perhaps job opportunities in their area.

  24. Auburn Alumni Association

    The Auburn AA has its own social site called the ALUM Network. Through it, alumni can search for one another, network, and keep in touch. Outside of their own resources, Auburn’s social media efforts have expanded to include Facebook, Twitter (@AUAlumniAssoc), and LinkedIn. They also share a wide range of content with current and former students through YouTube and Flickr. Sports fans will also appreciate the Auburn Clubs network, which makes it simple to find alumni in just about any part of the U.S.

  25. Purdue Alumni

    Purdue’s alumni group employs a wide range of social networking tools to promote alumni events and get current and former students connected. The group’s website hosts photos of recent events, as well as providing links to smaller subsets of the alumni group and alumni clubs. Alumni can also stay in the loop with all Purdue news through an RSS feed or tweets rom the@PurdueAlumni Twitter account. Like most groups, they also use Facebook and LinkedIn, building sizeable networks (their Facebook page boasts a whopping 18,277 fans).

  26. GW Alumni

    Alumni of George Washington University can use their alumni association’s website to do some social networking, with features to connect with Facebook, search for other students, or even get career advice. Outside of the home site, alums can follow any alumni events feed through RSS to stay up-to-date on things that might interest them. They can also connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube, covering just about every social media base out there.

  27. Ohio University Alumni

    Ohio University’s alumni group has created a well-rounded collection of resources for social network-savvy alumni to use. Their LinkedIn group boasts 14,308 members, with 9 subgroups for those in particular fields or who live in certain areas. Alumni association staff member Yumi Choe also regularly updates a Twitter feed for alumni found at @OHIOAlumni. And, of course, the AA maintains an active Facebook presence. The OU alumni group hasn’t forgot about other social sites, however, and also shares videos of campus events through YouTube.

  28. Georgia Tech Alumni Association

    Grads of Georgia Tech looking for job or career help can take advantage of some of the great social network resources their alumni association has built. On LinkedIn, the alumni group has joined nearly 18,000 grads and 6,079 are fans of their Facebook page. For those who love content more than building connections, the group uses Flickr and YouTube to share photos and videos that might be of interest to alumni.

  29. Columbia Alumni Association

    Columbia University’s alumni group makes use of all the social networking standards including Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter, with a couple of interesting additions. The group has also reached out to alums through the social site MeetUp, letting them know about events on campus or in their regional areas. Alumni shouldn’t just expect to find information on the main alumni group, however, as there are hundreds of subgroups and clubs listed, many of which maintain their own Facebook or Twitter accounts.

  30. Wisconsin Alumni Association

    Former Badgers can visit the WUAA’s to share photos, find friends, and explore some of the many ways the group is making use of social media. Currently, the AA has pretty decent followings on Facebook and LinkedIn, allowing former and current students to connect easily and through a variety of avenues. News and updates can be found through the group’s Twitter feed (@buckybadger) and fun videos and photos of campus events are shared through Flickr and YouTube.

Taken From Best Colleges Online

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