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Using Salesforce Communities to Connect & Engage Your Alumni Network

By June 22, 2016

Beyond Emails and WebsitesLast week we hosted the “Beyond Emails & Websites: Using Salesforce Communities to Connect & Engage Your Alumni Network” webinar as part of the Salesforce Community Cloud for Higher Ed series.

We heard from our friends at Babson College and Columbia University about how they’re using Salesforce to build amazing alumni engagement experiences with Communities. One of our partners, 7Summits, also joined to share Community implementation best practices and tips.

There was a lot of really great information packed into the 60-minute webinar, but here are a few takeaways:

1. Let’s start with the basics: what is Community Cloud? A “Community” is a portal, a forum, a directory, a knowledge base, a help desk, and a private social network – all rolled into one. For alums, it can be a great space to network, learn about events, and give back to their school.

2. Engaged alumni are 10 times more likely to give back. While email and print media are becoming less effective, it’s more important than ever to have another platform that can combine several different engagement strategies into one.

3. When looking into evolving your alumni engagement experience, be sure to really take stock of what your school needs and what resources you have. There are so many different platforms out there now, so it’s important to hone in on what’s going to work best for your school. At Columbia and Babson, they were looking for something that could scale. Salesforce Community Cloud lets them manage their alumni experience projects at a comfortable pace with plenty of flexibility.

4. For alumni who might not want to share too much information about themselves, but still want to be part of the Community, Community Cloud allows each individual to manage their own profile settings. Only want to share your name and current city? No problem! Community Cloud is extremely customizable.

5. It’s important to try to reduce friction as much as possible in your alumni’s user experience. Think about what needs your alumni have and try to design your Community in a way that provides a “one space fits all” for those needs. Communities have to integrate with everything in order to be most effective (for example, your school’s fundraising system). There are different ways to integrate data between numerous systems with Community Cloud depending on what your needs are.

Interested in learning more? Good news – the webinar is now available on demand. More good news – we have two more higher ed Community Cloud webinars coming up. Join us in July to close out the series!

A Tale of Two Communities: Transforming the Experience for Prospective Students & Connecting Faculty & Staff

Connect Your Campus and Increase Student Engagement with Community Cloud