Editor’s note: We realize the Aggies have caught our attention a few times before. What can we say? They’ve got it going on, right now.
The summer after my freshman year of college, I worked at a summer camp in Texas. The majority of the other students I worked with attended Texas A&M. They were a fun bunch, with A LOT of school spirit.
Spend just a few minutes around a group of Aggies and you will soon realize their alma mater is a very strong bond for them - it seems like they are all connected in a supernatural way. That bond is evident through their hefty class ring hardware and their trademark “yells,” but now it stands out in the digital domain. A&M has a well-established online presence for its alumni that helps them stay connected with one another, with the school they love, and with current students.
Online, alum can reach out to the university and other alum through the Aggie Network, a one-stop shop for all former A&M students. Here, they can find ways to donate - both time and money; it is also a place to REconnect with fellow Aggies, find out about upcoming events, and career opportunities. The Aggie Network is not the only online resource available to the students and alum.
The first thing you’ll see when you go to the site are all the ways to stay connected with the Aggie Network on social media - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google Plus.
I would encourage you to reevaluate your alumni website objectively. Is it more than just a neon sign that says “GIVE”? Then, look assess your presence on social media. Find those connections on LinkedIn. Has your alumni Twitter sent a Tweet in the last year? And rise above the baby pics on Facebook.
So maybe your school doesn’t have the massive student body/alumni base that Texas A&M does; so what if all your graduates don’t have that school bling on their hand. You can still match A&M’s passion for connecting with its Aggies. Besides, a development office should first focus on quality over quantity. Find a way to translate YOUR school spirit to the web by creating solid content and design. Then the numbers will increase - in people and in dollars. (cue an eerie voice whispering, “If you build it, they will come.”)
Author: Gray Gill is our Spring Editor & Word-Smith here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.