LinkedIn Groups Fall Short, Here’s Why You Need a Corporate Alumni Solution
A common question we hear is, “Why do we need an alumni platform if we already have a LinkedIn Alumni Group?”…
You need an alumni platform because delivering an exclusive, on-demand portal promotes engagement which as a result drives more business development opportunities through alumni than through a LinkedIn Alumni group alone. Although LinkedIn may appear as an easy way to stay connected, it has many limitations and fails to deliver in the following keys areas: system integration, business automation, relationship management, customer focus as well as segmentation & personalization.
- System Integration: The ability to integrate your human resource (HR) and client relationship management (CRM) systems with your alumni solution is vital to ensuring your alumni program will benefit from systematic alumni management. An alumni platform like IntraWorlds provides the integrations you may need and can also build the middleware needed allowing your systems to communicate with one another. Moreover, even if you could sync your LinkedIn alumni group directly with your firm’s core HR and CRM systems, you wouldn’t want to, because once the data is stored in LinkedIn, you relinquish all ownership of it. In contrast, if you use a formal alumni solution such as IntraWorlds Alumni, your firm does not lose ownership and your alumni data will be safe and secure.
- Business Automation: Typically firms have very limited resources for alumni programs, so it is critical that the person tasked with managing the alumni program is equipped with the resources powerful software that will streamline time-consuming administrative tasks. This can only be done through specialized alumni-oriented technology. For example, in IntraWorlds when someone becomes eligible to join the alumni network and use the alumni platform, we ensure that all processes take place automatically. For example, we pull in all relevant user data; assign the required profile templates to set the appropriate rights and roles in the alumni platform; send a series of personalized nurture emails, etc. Using these business automation processes in connection with a defined and personal exit process, IntraWorlds’ clients engage up to 90% of all former employees.
- Relationship Management: A firm’s emphasis on building strong relationships with each individual alumni is essential to driving business development results. LinkedIn does not equip alumni managers with the tools they need to build a strong interpersonal relationship. For example there is:
- No place to store notes or log interactions
- No dashboard with actionable engagement indicators
- No way to personalize communications or target content
IntraWorlds supports a balanced cadence of personalized outreach to alumni ensuring they are staying nurtured, while tracking all of their activity. Open rates of tailored alumni communications going directly to the preferred email inbox via IntraWorlds regularly score in the 50% to 75% range.
- Customer Focus: Creating a continued dialogue with alumni is key to supporting business objectives such as re-hiring or business development with alumni in economic buyer positions. Therefore, it is vital alumni perceive the effort of their former employer as sincere and value adding to their own career. To show you are focused on your customer, the alumni, providing them access to the trusted network of former colleagues is important, as are: job board for firm, alumni, & client job opportunities, access to thought leadership, firm, & alumni news, learning opportunities and events. IntraWorlds provides all of these assets in a single “one stop shop” platform for alumni. This is true customer focus, and cannot be delivered by using a LinkedIn Group in a personalized way.
- Segmentation and Personalization: It is very important that alumni managers are able to tag
their alumni database by attributes such as office location, market segment, business unit, career
level, etc. With LinkedIn groups, there is no way to use multi-dimensional tagging to personalize communications and content. As a result, many companies try to create separate LinkedIn Alumni groups based on geography in order to work around this challenge. This creates clutter for alumni and only resolves the issue for one particular segment at a time.Through segmentation based personalization, IntraWorlds allows each alumni group member to view a stream of relevant information to them upon logging into the alumni portal. This translates into annual repeat visitor rates on average of 67% and up to 97% for top performing alumni networks.
With all this said, we do not advocate removing your LinkedIn group. Keep it in place, and use it to engage alumni that are frequent LinkedIn users. Also, if you are just starting to build an alumni program, a LinkedIn group can be a great way to get started. However, as your alumni program matures, and you are looking to build value, do not rely on a LinkedIn group alone.
IntraWorlds has developed a robust software solution designed to be easy to use for alumni managers and engaging for the alumni. If you’d like to learn more or have any questions about the IntraWorlds Alumni Solution, contact us or request a free demo HERE!