EcDev Journal

Building Your Creative Economy: Using Social Media for Alumni Attraction

Posted on Thursday August 09, 2012

Young people who leave town for college or university don’t come back more often than they do. The loss of educated graduates has become almost an accepted fact of life in small and rural communities and is most definitely a drain on a community’s ability to develop its creative economy.

Social media, however, offers your community a powerful means of finding and reconnecting with your town’s expats, and the opportunity to provide them with reasons to come back.

Former student high school alumni groups are some of the most popular and abundant groups on Facebook. For every high school of any size there will be at least one, and often several, Facebook groups for former students to join. These are hubs for people who share common experiences to reconnect with old friends, and share memories and photos of the glory days. You’re likely a member of one or more of these groups yourself. 

These high school alumni groups are points of leverage through which a very specific audience can be targeted with very specific messaging.

Many of the people who have migrated from your community have already joined these Facebook groups. Having grown up there, these people already know why your community is a great place to live. If they didn’t have some nostalgia for their hometown, they probably never would have joined the group. Maybe they’ve got their own children now and would love to give their children the same lifestyle they grew up with.

These people may not need to be reminded what a great place their hometown is, but they do need to know that there are opportunities available. Using social media, a municipality can showcase its employment opportunities, small business success stories, and business expansions.  This is the sort of information people need if they’re going to consider a big move, and tools like Facebook and Twitter provide extremely focused channels for getting these messages out.

Such targeted social media strategies are just one example of the variety of specialized Creative Economy stimulation solutions Yfactor has developed for its municipal and economic development clients. Visit  to view a sampling of the wide range of Creative Economy solutions we can provide.


Anya Codack
Yfactor Inc.
phone: 416-977-9724 x 509