Alumni Resource Book
Alumni Association   •   Truman State University    •   Kirksville, Missouri


1. Introduction

2. Contacts

Chapter & Club
Alumni Board of Directors
University Info

3. Chapter/Club Management

General Administrative Info
Tips for Successful Chapters & Clubs
Working with Volunteers
Working with the University
Planning for Officer Succession
Honor Chapter Structure & Points System
Sample Alumni Survey

4. Membership

Benefits of Chapter Membership
How to Build Chapter Membership

 5. Communications

Chapter Communications
Electronic Communications

Social Media Best Practices   NEW 

Sample Membership Letters
Miscellaneous Communications Samples

6. Event Planning

Organizing & Planning Events
Banquet Planning
Care Package Event
College Fair Program
Freshmen Send-Off
Golf Tournaments
Member-at-Large Events: Tailgate
Silent Auction
Other Event Suggestions
Listing of All 2011 Alumni Events  NEW 

 7. Marketing Alumni Events

Guidelines for Submitting Event Info to the University  NEW 
-Online Event Form
     -Printer-friendly Event Form (PDF file)

8. Scholarships

Establishing a Foundation Scholarship
Current Chapter Scholarships & Criteria
Sample Scholarship Appeal Pieces
Sample Thank-You Note to Donor

 5. Communications

Chapter Communications
Electronic Communications

Social Media Best Practices

Sample Membership Letters
Miscellaneous Communications Samples

6. Event Planning

Organizing & Planning Events
Banquet Planning
Care Package Event
College Fair Program
Freshmen Send-Off
Golf Tournaments
Member-at-Large Events: Tailgate
Silent Auction
Other Event Suggestions

  7. Marketing Alumni Events

Guidelines for Submitting Event Info to the University
   -Online Event Form
     -Printer-friendly Event Form (PDF file)

8. Scholarships

Establishing a Foundation Scholarship
Current Chapter Scholarships & Criteria
Sample Scholarship Appeal Pieces
Sample Thank-You Note to Donor


Alumni Association
Truman State University
McClain Hall 205
100 E. Normal
Kirksville, Missouri 63501-4221
Telephone: (800) 452-6678 or (660) 785-4133

Web Site:

5. Communications: Social Media Best Practices

Getting Started

  • Form a strategy. Identify purpose, who you want to reach (audience), types of content you intend to share and overarching goals. From there start with one social media outlet, such as creating a fan page on Facebook, and develop a presence.
  • Set your goals. Are you trying to communicate a campaign; promote your Truman group/department/program; connect with alumni; create a community for fans; or increase overall awareness and recognition of your Truman entity? Your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Common social media goals include: increased traffic to website, reputation management, brand awareness, search engine rankings, and thought leadership.
  • Make the time. Don't start a social media effort unless you have the dedicated time and resources to maintain new content on a regular basis. New content is critical to thrive in social media communities.
  • Conduct research. Before starting a social media campaign, research other organizations on social media networks for ideas on what works and what doesn't.
  • Jump in. Be an active user. Listen to conversations, engage with comments, answer questions, and keep your account fresh with regular posts.
  • Measure success. Determine what success means for your purpose and goals. Increased traffic to your website? Better communication with prospective students? Number of fans, followers, comments?

Using Facebook

What is Facebook?

Facebook is the largest social network in the world with more than 500 million users. People use Facebook to catch up with friends and colleagues, share news, information, photos, video, and more with people and organizations.

Why should I use Facebook?

Facebook offers an ideal opportunity to showcase your Truman department or program and build recognition, while encouraging participation and networking. Truman encourages the use of Facebook to connect with prospective and current students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends of the University.

For many Truman organizations and departments, a Facebook page is the flagship of their social media presence. Facebook provides the platform to send information, receive feedback and encourage interaction among your fans.

How do I use Facebook?

Begin by setting up your organization's account on Facebook here.
Create an "official" page for your Truman organization. Including "Truman State University" in the title will make it easier for users to find your page.
Facebook has Pages, Groups, and People. Know which one will work for you.

  • Pages are accessible by the general public – they are searchable and can be seen by anyone even if they are not registered or logged into Facebook. Pages allow for applications and the opportunity to supply more in-depth information. Pages are intended for organizations, departments, and businesses to connect with users who like them.
  • If your goal is to create a small community on Facebook, consider creating a Group. Groups can be created by anyone and about any topic, as a forum for people to share their opinions and interest in that subject. Groups can be kept closed or secret, whereas Pages are intended to help an entity communicate publicly. Notifications to those in your Group will appear in their Facebook Inbox like an e-mail. If personal communication is your goal, forming a Group is a better option.
  • People can be created for your department/organization if the intent is to promote upcoming events.  Creating a person allows you to invite people to events without using your personal account.  Use “Truman” as the first name, followed by your department or organization as the last name (Truman Greek).

Confirm that you are the official representative for your organization and review Facebook's Terms and Conditions.

By using Facebook, you are agreeing to Facebook's terms and conditions:
You must:

  • Obtain consent if you collect any information from users, making it clear that you (and not Facebook) are collecting the information, and post a privacy policy that will be strictly followed.
  • Keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date. Do not include personal contact information on your Truman-recognized account unless it is appropriate to the purpose of your Truman organization, and in that case, keep it to a minimum.

You must not:

  • Create another account without permission if Facebook disables your account.
  • Use your Truman-recognized profile for your own commercial gain or for communications or activities that are purely personal in nature.
  • Share your password or do anything to jeopardize the security of your account.
  • Transfer your account without getting written permission from Facebook. Administrators of Truman-recognized accounts may be changed from time to time - please notify the Truman Social Media Policy Staff.
  • Post content or take action that infringes or violates someone else's rights.
  • Post or knowingly permit the posting of content or any other use of your Truman-recognized account to cause harm, embarrassment, defamation, insult, or injury to any person or entity. This does not prohibit frank discussions, criticism, or opinion. The following content and online activity is strictly prohibited: lewd or indecent conduct, threat of physical harm, stalking, forgery, intentional disruption of university activities, advocating or causing the damage or destruction of university property, illegal discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or any intentionally malicious, defamatory, degrading, or hateful material.
  • Post content or take action that violates the law.
  • Post identification documents or sensitive or confidential financial, medical, educational, or other personal information of any person without that person’s express, prior consent.
  • Tag users or send e-mail invitations to non-users without their consent.

Start posting!

Respond to wall posts. Even the negative ones should be acknowledged.
Keep it real. Be conversational, informal, and always remember to be respectful of others.

Encourage involvement and interaction among fans. Facebook is designed to maximize involvement among users for an open line of communication. Use it to your advantage to collect feedback and provide users with a richer online experience with your organization.

Value-driven updates. Updates at least three times per week are recommended, but make sure each update contains valuable information your fans can use. Meaningless updates can drive your followers to not pay attention to your page, or even worse, remove your page from their news feed.

Monitor your page frequently. It is critical to monitor your page daily so that you can keep up with the conversation and activity (and spam) on your page.
Use Facebook's applications to make your page more dynamic. Add photos, videos, discussion boards, RSS feeds, etc.

Promote your page and interact with other campus pages. Ask the members of your organization to follow your page and network with other organizations on Facebook by "Liking" their page or adding them to your page's favorites.

Use @. In a status update, type the “@” symbol followed directly (no space) by the name of another Facebook page you want to tag. For example, a status update from Truman State University might say, "Congrats to @Truman State University Bulldog Athletics for the football win!" The Truman status update will show up on the Athletics wall by simply using that tagging technique.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows users to post short messages that show up in the Twitter feeds of the people who choose to follow your account. Twitter offers instantly updated information for just about anything you can imagine.

Here's the catch: Twitter allows only 140 characters per post, called a tweet, so tap into your creative side to make your message fit.

What can Twitter do for me?

Twitter is an effective tool for Truman organizations and departments that need to share frequent content about meetings, events, news, and even emergency information.

How do I use Twitter?

Start by creating an account here on Twitter.

Optimize your account for Twitter searches:

Note that a username and a name are two separate items. For example, TrumanState is the username and Truman State University is the name. Usernames are character-limited.

A carefully selected name is the most crucial part of being found in searches. This is because most users will not search for you by your exact username and will add spaces that do not match your username. For example, a search for "Truman Athletics" does not find the username TrumanAthletics.

Make sure the name includes words you believe will be used when searching for the profile; Truman, Colorado State University, etc.
Enter your e-mail address, password, and agree to Twitter’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

By doing so, you must not:

  • Impersonate others through the Twitter service
  • Publish or post other people’s private and confidential information
  • Publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others
  • Use the service for any unlawful purpose or for promotion of illegal activities
  • Create serial accounts for disruptive or abusive purposes
  • Engage in username squatting
  • Use's address book contact import to send repeat, mass invitations
  • Publish or link to malicious content intended to damage or disrupt another user's browser or computer or to compromise a user's privacy
  • Use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone
  • Use obscene or pornographic images in either your profile picture or user background

 Customize your profile

Use the column on the right side of your account page to upload a profile picture, write a short bio, and set up Twitter on your mobile phone so you can post tweets from anywhere.

The one line bio will appear with the username and name in search results. Use this area to note your relationship to Colorado State University if your username and name have not already made this clear.

For example, only using "Truman" may create confusion since there are several universities who use the same acronym.

Start tweeting

Stay under the 140-character restriction. Use shorthand and post links that provide more information.

Include links. Drive followers to your website from tweets. Inbound links also improve your page rankings with search engines.

Links can be long and quickly take over a tweet’s 140-character limit. Use or TinyURL to shorten them.

Tweet regularly. Appoint more than one person to tweet if needed to continue regular content.

Understand why people follow you. If your followers want information about the group you represent, they probably don't want to know your daily activities. If you are a Truman celebrity, your followers are more likely to be interested in your life events.

Follow others. This allows communication between you and your followers and is part of Twitter etiquette.

Re-tweet! Tweet the content posted by another Twitter user.
Use hashtags. Hashtags consist of using the # symbol followed by subject words such as #colorado. They help organize information, make tweets searchable, and are conversation drivers.

Incorporate other Twitter users. An example tweet might be:"I am going to the @TrumanMensBball game tonight @ColoradoStateU."

Other tips

Use other tools. Research external applications that are designed to help Twitter users enhance the Twitter experience. The Twitter website itself is prone to going down based on heavy traffic so consider skipping to manage your Twitter accounts and check out more reliable management services including TweetDeck and Hootsuite.

Find the thought leaders. Spend time engaging people who are interested in similar topic areas. This means identifying the most influential social media users in your niche area. Klout is a tool that tracks influence on Twitter and Facebook. See who is a thought leader, connector, or a decision-maker.

It takes a village. Twitter itself does not have a way for multiple people to uniquely access one account other than by sharing the username and password among administrators. CoTweet allows multiple people to help manage multiple Twitter accounts and stay in synch while doing so.

Use photos in your tweets.
TwitPic allows users to upload photos from the web or a mobile device and post them on Twitter in a very easy fashion. Other picture tools include yfrog and Plixi.

Additional resources

Learn the Twitter Lingo
Twitter best practices for businesses and organizations
26 Twitter Tips for Enhancing Your Tweets