LinkedIn Groups Fall Short, Here’s Why You Need A Corporate Alumni Solution
LinkedIn alumni groups fall short in engaging alumni to take action. Learn the 5 ways corporate alumni programs can drive business development opportunities.
A very common question we hear is: “Why do we need an alumni platform if we already have a LinkedIn Alumni Group?” You need a corporate alumni solution because delivering an exclusive, on-demand portal promotes engagement, which, as a result, drives more business development opportunities than a LinkedIn Alumni group is capable of. Although LinkedIn may appear to be a simple way to stay connected, it has many limitations and fails to deliver in the following key areas: system integration, business automation, relationship management, customer focus, and segmentation & personalization.
The ability to integrate your human resource (HR) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems with your alumni solution is vital to ensure your alumni program will benefit from systematic alumni management. An alumni platform like PeoplePath provides the integrations you may need and can also build the middleware needed to allow your systems to communicate with one another. Moreover, even if you could synchronize your LinkedIn alumni group directly with your company's core HR and CRM systems, you would not want to, because once data is stored on LinkedIn, you relinquish all ownership of it. In contrast, with a formal alumni solution, your business does not lose ownership and your alumni data will be secure.
Businesses typically 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 to streamline time-consuming administrative tasks. This can only be done through specialized alumni-oriented technology. For example, at PeoplePath, when someone becomes eligible to use the alumni platform, all processes take place automatically. For instance, we pull in all relevant user data, assign the required profile templates to set the appropriate rights and roles in the alumni platform, send out a series of personalized nurture emails, etc. Using these business automation processes in connection with a defined and personal exit process, PeoplePath’s clients engage up to 90% of all former employees.
A firm’s emphasis on building strong relationships with each alumnus is essential to driving business development results. PeoplePath supports a balanced cadence of personalized outreach to alumni and tracking their professional activity. Open rates of tailored alumni communications going directly to the preferred email inbox via PeoplePath regularly score in the 50% to 75% range. Unfortunately, LinkedIn does not equip alumni managers with the necessary tools 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
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 career. To show you are focused on your alumni, it is important that you provide them with access to your platform. Similarly, they must be given access to the company's job board, alumni and client job opportunities, alumni news, learning opportunities, and events. PeoplePath provides all of these assets in a single “one stop shop” platform for alumni. This level of personalized customer focus cannot be achieved with platforms like LinkedIn Groups.
Segmentation and personalization:
It is 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 create LinkedIn Alumni groups based solely on geography. This creates clutter and only resolves the issue for one particular segment at a time. With PeoplePath, each alumnus can view a stream of relevant information upon signing 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, it is important to mention that we are not claiming that your organization's LinkedIn group should be removed. Instead, keep it in place, and use it to engage alumni who are frequent LinkedIn users. 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, we do not advise to rely solely on a LinkedIn group.
PeoplePath has developed an easy-to-use corporate alumni solution to engage former employees. If you would like to learn more or have any questions about the PeoplePath Alumni Solution, contact us or request a free demo here!