Brent Grinna (@brentgrinna) is the CEO & Founder of EverTrue and serves as a member of the Brown Alumni Association Board of Governors.
Launching careers in a struggling job market, soon-to-be and recent college graduates are looking for support from their alumni networks—often through LinkedIn alumni groups. LinkedIn has more than 225 million members and more than 2 million groups, making it a logical place for newly minted alumni to network and to start their job hunt. According to the company, students and recent graduates are its largest growing demographic.
How can an institution utilize LinkedIn to measure the connectivity of an alumni community? By dividing the the number of members in an institution’s largest LinkedIn alumni group by the total number of the institution’s alumni on LinkedIn, it’s possible to develop a straightforward benchmark for peer institutions. We’ve illustrated some of the most well-connected alumni groups in the infographic below.
LinkedIn groups with high adoption rates tend to share two characteristics.
- Closed vs. open groups. Groups that scored in the top 10 percent of the more than 200 institutions included had a closed group on LinkedIn—meaning group administrators approve all requests to join. A closed group is a healthy way for advancement offices to keep out spammers, allow team members to personally welcome new members and to pique the interest of alumni.
- Higher giving participation rates. Using giving data from US News & World Report, there is a correlation between LinkedIn alumni groups with strong adoption rates and higher average giving participation rates. For example, when taking US News’ top 100 liberal arts schools and re-ranking them by LinkedIn alumni adoption rates, the top 10 LinkedIn groups show a 46 percent higher giving rate than the 10 institutions at the bottom of the list. While there is a lack of proof for any causation between a well-connected LinkedIn group and annual giving rates, it is an interesting indicator of well-connected communities.
What methods has your institution used to promote a better connected community on LinkedIn? Share your institution’s experience in the comments below.