Campus energising its alumni base via social media

Annette Willemse -- Tue, 06/23/2015 - 12:28

Campus energising its alumni base via social media

How actively involved are you with your alma mater? For most alumni, the answer is “not very.” The Alumni Office on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU) is working to fix this. 

The NWU Vaal Alumni Facebook page offers graduates the opportunity to stay in touch with their alma mater

There are 11,8 million Facebook users in South Africa according to the latest results from Wide Worx and Fuseware’s SA Social Media Landscape 2015 report. The report furthermore states that Facebook is the first high-tech service or platform in South Africa which has seen an exactly equal take-up by males and females. According to Mike Wronski, managing director of the analytics company Fuseware, the Facebook user base is mirroring the South African urban population with the highest growth in the user base seen in three key economic hubs, namely: Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. With this in mind, the Alumni Office of the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal) is busy with a concerted effort to energise its alumni base via this popular social media platform.

According to Alwine Naude, alumni coordinator, there is no better way to keep up with what’s happening at the NWU or in the lives of alumni members, than by using Facebook as a communication platform. “At the Vaal Triangle Campus we are proud of our alumni and we want to cherish the strong connection between graduates and their alma mater,” says Alwine and explains that Facebook offers alumni unlimited opportunities. “By connecting to our virtual network you can build your career connection and skills, find friends – old and new, join us for special events and even give back to the university.” Through our Facebook page we aim to unlock, organise, and make accessible the substantial value of good alumni relations.

Why you should pay attention to your alumni network

“Networking is the name of the game, and it is important that we step out of the conventional process of merely swopping out business cards,” says Alwine and adds that typically, alumni are more receptive to fellow graduates and therefore a platform such as Facebook provides an ideal hub from which information can be shared. This instant interaction allows young alumni members to, for example, jumpstart their career by connecting with alumni and through informal interaction learn more about their field of interest and potential opportunities.

Other advantages of a communal hub such as Facebook, is that it allows alumni to stay connected with classmates and friends. Through the sharing of stories, pictures and videos alumni are able to relive their student experience and, according to Alwine, it allows for cross generational dialogue and interaction.

Who should join?

If you just graduated from university or if you joined the campus way back in 1963, you are invited to contact Alwine on 016 910 3250 or send her an e-mail at alwine.naude@nwu.ac.za  You should also “Like us” on Facebook (NWU Vaal Alumni) to connect with other members of the alumni fraternity, and to be the first to hear about alumni events and programs. Remember, the next alumni gala event takes place on 21 August 2015, and the performing artist is Elvis Blue. Book your seat now!