Trade associations, by design, are supposed to be the “official spokesperson” for their constituency. Most though have missed the opportunity to harness the power of the Internet and social media. This is especially true of the more conservative manufacturing-type groups.
One such group that has done a great job in using the Internet and the social media tools is The Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA). They have a blog (Speaking of Precision) and are active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Miles Free, Director of Technology and Industry Research (also Chief Blogger) says: “Our members value the PMPA for the ability to network. Using our blog to provide thought leadership, technical resources, advocacy, another channel for communication, and recruitment helps us help our members and the industry stay connected. We use social media to help us provide connection, effective advocacy, and keep our members and the industry apprised of critical issues. At virtually no cost. For PMPA, social media is key to effective associating.”
Here are 5 reasons they are using social media :
- Thought leadership – They want to be known as the “Experts” in their space and their blog.
- Technical resource – To keep the industry updated on issues ranging from the latest OSHA requirements to new specs for a certain quality program, as well as to promote knowledge retention.
- Advocacy – All associations need representation in Government whether it’s national, state or local. Their position on issues are vital and social is a great place to rally the troops.
- Communicate with members – Most associations have several ways to touch their members, but blogs let them focus on one key subject and communicate with them on a regular basis, but in a different format that they are used to.
- Recruitment tool for new members – All associations are looking for new members, and this is a way for new potentials to see what they are doing and identify themselves as potential new members.
So, if you belong to an association and they aren’t using social media, tell them they are missing a great opportunity.