A couple of weeks ago in our blog post Using Your Existing Alumni Data to Enhance Donor Engagement – Part I, we discussed how utilizing a comprehensive view of an individual’s LinkedIn profile data can help fundraising campaigns and alumni event planners target their audience more accurately. 
Today, we’d like to share another useful tip for institutions interested in identifying and engaging their alumni: fully embrace your LinkedIn data.
Currently, many institutions rely heavily on alumni surveys and directories for their data. But why spend the time and money on these forms of data collection when LinkedIn offers the largest networking platform in the world for free? 
Disadvantages of Alumni Directories
Alumni directories can be tedious to update. Your staff will need to manually enter data and/or wait for alumni to opt-in. In our experience, less than 10% of alumni opt-in to alumni directories. Compare this to LinkedIn where an average of 50% of your living alumni are active members!
Even if you’re lucky enough to get 10% of your alumni to self-report their information, most directories will not allow you to export this data into your own database. Once your subscription is cancelled, the data is lost – rendering all your previous efforts useless.
The Benefit of LinkedIn Groups
A LinkedIn Group is a channel to share specific content with those who will find it most valuable. This results in both higher engagement and more worthwhile interactions. 
Think of it as both quality and quantity. Since many of your alumni are already using LinkedIn, they are more likely to continue to network on this platform.
A Final Tip
The self-reported data found on LinkedIn is the largest and most reliable source for employment information on your alumni. Since a majority of this data is public, it could also help you fill in gaps in your database. Reach out to us at email@example.com to learn more.
Take advantage of LinkedIn data to enhance engagement and increase your chances of developing long-lasting relationships with your alumni.
Sources & Additional Reading
 Using Your Existing Alumni Data to Enhance Donor Engagement – Part I, LiveAlumni.com
 Which of the Top 5 Professional Networking Sites is Best for Your Business?, ChristineHueber.com
 LinkedIn Groups, HootSuite.com