The VPM Blog

The Rise of the Social (Media) Alumni

Posted by Laurie Webb on Apr 20, 2015 9:16:00 AM

It’s no secret that social media is on the rise and that more and more people are tweeting, posting, pinning, etc. But how much has it increased over the past few years and what age demographic is using social media the most? Why should my university be on social media and would it really make a difference?



The rise of the social alumni

Social media is now becoming apparent that it’s not just a fad. It’s here to stay. According to, all social media platforms have seen an 800% increase over the past 8 years. That growth also includes an increase of diverse users including age and ethnicity. Social media is no longer just for teenagers, but for all age groups. According to, Facebook’s user base is dominated by ages 25 and older and there is an 80.3% increase in users 55 or older.

More universities are staying up with the times

There is a huge amount of alumni on social media and in result, more universities are using social media for alumni relations. According to Hootsuite, in 2013, 97% of U.S. higher ed institutions engaged with alumni through social media in comparison to 84% in 2012. With the growing amount of alumni on social media, it’s vital for a university stay up with the times and interact with their valued alumni where the majority spend their free few minutes on social media.

But why?

Alumni create a university’s reputation and potentially helps to financially sustain the institution through donations and volunteerism. Because of that, alumni relations should be an integral part of a university’s overall marketing strategy. Your alumni are walking word-of-mouth marketing machines, and maintaining a lifelong relationship is crucial. Alumni also assist in student recruitment directly and indirectly, provide feedback and counsel regarding the university and are even a resource for talent pool for university employment.


Neglecting to interact with your alumni through social media is a serious mistake that your university should not be making. The numbers don’t lie and the proof is in the pudding. Most of your alumni are on social media and it would be incredibly unwise to ignore the opportunity to conduct alumni relations on social media.

Is your university social media, but you aren’t getting anywhere? Click here to find out how to fix it.


 A Higher Education Guide to Pinterest

Topics: social media marketing

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