5 Best Practices for Using Snapchat for Alumni Relations

Snapchat is more widely used by millenials than even mega-platforms like Twitter. So it's important for you to be on it! But there's a big difference between being somewhere and making the most of where you are.

It's important, before we get into our list of best practices, to understand the core elements of Snapchat:

  1. It's brief
  2. Visuals are everything
  3. It's personal

All the above makes it a lot of fun to have a presence on Snapchat. The basics:

  1. Download Snapchat to your phone
  2. Create a memorable account for the alumni team

Pretty simple, eh?

Now, for some best practices!

  1. Build your follower base by sharing something special. Via your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social accounts, let folks know that your early Snapchat followers will enjoy a sneak peak into something special for Snapchatters. Taco Bell had success sharing unique content there and we'd suggest that a special view of the new football uniforms, a glimpse of a new facility on campus, or a pic of this year's homecoming theme could all build great buzz.
  2. Don't be so darn serious! Snapchat and other instant chat apps are all about right now and right now you're tired or giddy or fired up. So let your alumni see that side of your office, your team, and the campus many of them live so far away from.
  3. Quick Contests Rule. When a new follower joins you on Snapchat, game it up and earn some insights into your alumni. For example, why not, when a new follower comes in, ask them to Snap you their email address and then email them a coupon for a discount from the bookstore. It's a fun, engaging, low-cost way to get some great bio data!
  4. This is about Engagement, So... ENGAGE! What's so special about Snapchat, like the game concept above, is that you can truly engage with your alumni. Why not ask alumni to take a Snap of themselves wearing your school colors and share the video? Or perhaps a great Snap during a game watch weekend where the best Snap from all the chapters gets a shout out?
  5. Remember, this is an Ongoing Conversation. Just like any social media channel, what you're entering into when you begin leveraging Snapchat with your alumni is a true conversation. You can't pop in and out from time to time. If you're sitting there thinking about what goes in the next alumni magazine, Snap a quick shot of you and your peers. Headed to lunch at a new campus eatery? Share away! It doesn't have to be built up, up, up. Just be human.

There are lots of other great ways to use Snapchat and we'd love to hear from folks about how they're thinking about the platform. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section and, remember, keep it loose!

Rachael Stein