How To Do A Sentiment Analysis Of Your Corporate Alumni Network

by Alumni Content in Corporate Alumni   |    Last Edited: 01st April 2022

How do your corporate alumni feel about your engagement platforms and alumni network in general? Do you know? If not, it might be time to carry out an alumni sentiment analysis.

In essence, ‘sentiment’ refers to the overall ‘feeling’ or ‘vibe’ your community displays about your initiative and its various platforms. It is crucial to measure this ‘score’ to keep tabs on how your departed employees engage with your business and what they have to say about it.

Why?

Because there may have been times when your alumni said something positive about your platform online (or IRL) without tagging you in the comment. Or, despite not logging in regularly or reading all of your emails, they may still gain from being a part of the program.

If you aren’t tracking this, how do you know what’s working? As such, it helps to measure sentiment on an ongoing basis.

Tips To Perform An Alumni Sentiment Analysis In 2022 & Beyond

1. Take Note Of Event Attendance

Whether you are hosting live events or hosting Zoom-based webinars, attendance numbers can tell you a lot about the engagement levels and general sentiment among your alumni.

However, take care to look at the pre-event numbers as well. If you have a lot of pre-event interest but fewer actual attendees, you can use this information to see how you can improve your communication leading up to events.

Gauge sentiment

In fact, you could even create an email marketing segment for alumni who expressed interest but did not actually attend. Perhaps you could interest them in accessing a recording of the event. Or you might share info on upcoming events that appeal to them more closely.

Take the time to reach out and see how you can sweeten the deal for them.

2. Survey. Then Survey Some More!

We have said it before and we will say it again – the best way to know what your alumni are thinking and feeling is to ask them.

This is where the survey comes in handy.

When your alumni number is in the hundreds or thousands, collating feedback outside the survey format can be impossible. However, even if you only have a few dozen alumni, making sense of the data you gather is much easier this way.

Here are two tips on creating surveys to track sentiment:

Keep It Super Short

No one has time in their schedule to fill out a multiple-page survey (even in multiple-choice format); and even more so if they are no longer on your payroll! As such, the pulse survey is your best friend.

Short and snappy is key. Your survey should not take more than a few minutes to complete. Bonus points if you make the survey mobile-friendly so alumni can answer on the go.

Make Sure Alumni Know WHY They Are Being Surveyed

Analyze Alumni Attributes

No one likes to feel like a human data mine. As such, it’s important to tell your alumni why they are being surveyed. For instance:

Please take the time to complete this short 1-minute pulse survey when you have a moment. We will use the feedback we receive to improve the UX of our alumni website. This way, we can provide you with a more streamlined experience when you use it.

3. Track Content Engagement

When it comes to alumni sentiment analysis, the way your network engages with the content you put out on your platform can tell you a lot about their general attitude. Here are a few metrics that are helpful to track in this regard:

  • What do they engage with most? Are there certain articles you post to your platform that get a lot of traction? Or did a given post perform unexpectedly well? If you find that it does, you can create more content that speaks to the same pain point or offers the same hook.
  • Where do they engage from? Are they coming to your platform via links on your closed Facebook group or Instagram account? Or do they click through from email newsletters? Knowing where they come from can tell you a lot about where you need to go find them.
  • How do they engage? Are you getting likes, shares, comments, saves? Each mode of engagement has its own motivation and knowing which is which can tell you a lot about alumni sentiment.
  • Do they come to your platform for specific reasons? For example, to check work opportunities or offer incentivized talent recommendations. If you know that certain draw cards are very effective, you can lean into that more. Or you might offer another variation upon the theme.

REMEMBER! If you speak to everyone, you speak to no one. Not all alumni are the same. Retirees differ from senior business executives who were headhunted. Senior execs differ from interns who got permanent positions elsewhere. As such, your content should speak to the different segments within your community in turn.

4. Leverage Insights From AI-Based Technology

Leverage AI for alumni platform insights

The great thing about living in the 21st century is that we can use technology in all sorts of remarkable ways. For instance, there are AI tools available that can track sentiment on your behalf.

These tools use special algorithms to collect publicly available mentions of your alumni brand and other predefined keywords of your choosing. They then analyze the emotions behind the messages. The data you gain in this way can be used in countless ways.

For instance, you can measure your alumni program’s PR and marketing campaigns and build your brand reputation. You can also get ahead of bad reputation cases. Additionally, you will glean actionable insights that allow you to improve alumni experience over time.

Final Thoughts

Alumni sentiment analysis is a vital part of a ‘health check-in’ on your program and platforms.

Start by taking heed of event attendance and harnessing the power of surveys. Then, track content engagement, and leverage the reach of AI technology. This will give you a lot of insight into how your alumni experience things from their point of view.

Once you know, you can start to tailor your offering to be more attractive and retain more alumni.

For more information on how an alumni program can work for you, get in touch with the EnterpriseAlumni team today. 

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