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Using Social Media: Create A LinkedIn Alumni Group

Originally posted: May 10, 2012 on TrishMcFarlane.com

Today we’re back to tackling another of the ideas from 10 Ways To Build Social Media Into Your HR Practice.  So far, we’ve covered How To Tweet Your Company’s Jobs and Creating Podcasts For Your Company.  

One of the most accepted social platforms from a business standpoint is LinkedIn.  If you’re new to social or not familiar with LinkedIn, here are a few facts from the site:

  • The site officially launched on May 5, 2003. At the end of the first month in operation, LinkedIn had a total of 4,500 members in the network.
  • As of March 31, 2012, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with 161 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
  • As of March 31, 2012 (the end of the first quarter), professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of approximately two new members per second.
  • The company is publicly held and has a diversified business model with revenues coming from hiring solutions, marketing solutions and premium subscriptions.

Having a tool that has free and low-cost options for businesses that also has the reach of LinkedIn makes it a platform that your HR team should seriously consider using.  Many people I talk to think LinkedIn is primarily for job seekers or recruiters but there are so many other ways to use the site.  I use it to search for information and articles, I do research on companies, I find information about people I am networking with and I also use the Groups feature to stay in close contact with other professionals with similar interests.  One of these interests is staying in contact with colleagues from my former employers.  This brings me to today’s tip:

Create a LinkedIn Alumni group

 A LinkedIn alumni group is a way to drive interaction.  As HR professionals we know that boomerang employees are on the rise because as people leave organizations they find that they may miss the culture of the organization they left and decide to return in just a few short years.  Having an Alumni group where they can come back regularly and receive company news updates, hear about new client projects, connect with their former colleagues, see your job openings and be given access to special perks and discounts your company may offer are just a few ways to keep them connected.  They can also easily engage in conversation on the alumni group site.

How To Create An Alumni Group on LinkedIn

  • First, watch the video on LinkedIn to learn how to Start a Conversation In A LinkedIn Group.
  • From the LinkedIn home page, click the Groups tab
  • Click Create a Group
  • Fill in all information about the company including a logo, link to the website, information about your company
  • Who will be allowed to access the group

Be sure to link the group to the company Twitter account as well.  Now you’re ready to get started sharing information.  You may be the person responsible for maintaining the alumni group or you may assign it to someone on your team.  Either way, make sure that you encourage and ALL members of your team as well as current employees to participate in the discussions on the alumni group.

The last, and most important piece of advice is to invite employees who are leaving your organizaiton to join the group.  This will reinforce that leaving a company does not have to be a bad experience.  You send an important message that they are part of the culture and will remain a welcome part of the company.  You never know when they will return, when they will steer future business your way or will refer friends to you.

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