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How highered should be using LinkedIn

December 18, 2019

LinkedIn is a large part of the 3 Enrollment Marketing Digital Roadmap. I spend a good hour on it during a full-day #3EDigitalLab and at least 20 minutes in a shorter version.

LinkedIn thoughtfully AUTOMATICALLY subscribes alumni to the Page, so it often has the highest number of followers of any of the platforms on the roadmap.

It is true, users consider it at best as a Rolodex, and at worst as a visit to the dentist: it is something you have to do quarterly — so you do it, but not lovingly. In LinkedIn’s instance, it isn’t even clear why you do it.

However, there is potential. Especially for higher education marketing.

Here are some things to think about.

Data:

Did you know that according to LinkedIn data, there are 25 alumni of Oberlin College working for the US State Department, but the largest employer is Google with 67 alumni? (That would make a good tweet, especially since there are 15 majors represented. Search for CEO to see how many alumni have CEO in their profile. Teacher. Programmer. Nurse (though people in healthcare tend not to have LinkedIn profiles.) You can tell a neat story about outcomes using the data from LinkedIn.

People:

LinkedIn has most of your alumni, many of your young alumni. Enrollment marketing people can contact alumni in the places they are visiting and ask them to join them. Contact them in advance. You can have an actual alumni talking about the actual experience at the school. Remember, you can search by city. It is a public alumni directory, sorted by location, job function, and/or major.

Content:

This is a place to share outcomes. A simple Google Alert, or a complicated social listening alert, will pull up alumni outcomes like people joining boards, getting new jobs, doing new things. Post about it. Tag the alum in the post. That is the school celebrating the alumni for being an awesome. Just a great social moment for schools. Note: for reasons I don’t understand, the admin of the page needs to be a second connection with the person to tag them. That said just reach out and ask to connect and say, “hi, I want to share your recent employment news and I want to tag you but we need to be at least second connections.”

Alumni events: 

Post about them now. Word is, LinkedIn is adding events. So eventually your New York City get together can be added as an event on LinkedIn and on iModules. This is useful for off-campus events. I probably wouldn’t bother with school visits, but I certainly would add any counsellor events on campus.

Alumni Magazine: 

The new feature on LinkedIn called documents lets you upload PDFs like the alumni magazine. One can even leaf through them on the platform.

I look at a lot of #highered LinkedIn Company Pages. In the 3E Dashboard I build for clients, it includes competitor LinkedIn Company Pages. So I see all the pages. Many are not using LinkedIn Company in any way. Some are though. Some share outcome stories, but none do all the things on the list.

I’d talk to advancement and see about how to use it to increase engagement from alumni. If a major gift officer is assigned to someone who just joined a board, add their news, tag them, then send the post to the gift officer. It might help.

This is not an enrollment tool, unless the school invites high school counselors to follow the page.

What do you think? Where does LinkedIn fit into your strategy?

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