I had the idea to create a Facebook page for my local section. However I am not sure of any best practices and guidelines have been established through national ACS. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
Younger Chemists Committee has its page on Facebook. Please search for Younger Chemists Committee on facebook and see what it looks like there.
Hope this will be somewhat helpful for you.
Does your section have a website? If not, or you're having difficulty with it, ACS offers a free-to-you webhosting solution that 100+ groups (including many local sections and divisions) have already taken advantage of. The service has an app that can also connect you to any presence your section has on Facebook and Twitter.
Alternately, you might consider creating a private (or public - your choce) group here on the ACS Network and inviting your local section members to join.
Happy to discuss any of this with you offline.
The questions to ask in terms before you set up a Facebook page is who is your audience and what are their expectations? I am assuming you are trying to reach members of your local section.
Facebook comes with a familiarity but its group functionality is somewhat limited. It can be good for announcing events or pushing users to your website. It is evolving, but its primary audience is the general public and some of its functionality may not meet the needs of your section.
One of the core activities of ACS Members is to meet and discuss science as well as logistics, outreach, education, careers, etc. A Network would allow multiple discussions on these various topics. Your members can also collaborate on documents together (and this collaboration can be as closed or open as desired). There are ways to share and discuss bookmarks, as well as to prioritize on ideas. Although your local section may not need or know how to use all this functionality, we believe this will change in the future. The evolution of the Network (and its functionality) is centered around the needs of the ACS Member.
One thing to keep in mind, is the Network uses the same login credentials that you use to interact with ACS electronically, whether it be to renew your dues or view C&EN online. The Network then becomes not only the location for local section interaction, but interaction with technical divisions, or other chemists with similar goals and interests.
I don’t discouraging you from using Facebook as it has its uses, but I hope you will see the advantages of having an ACS Network group.
I created one for the New York Local Section of the ACS, but I couldn't find any guidelines/best practices available from national.
(More of a comment than a real answer to the question).
I think the more places you post information about your activities the better - we need to go where our members are.
One thing to remember is that you do not want to have to spend hours updating countless sites and groups so it makes sense to decide where the bulk of the information is posted (section home page?) and quickly direct people there.
A big advantage of the on-line groups is that they let you e-mail a lot of people very easily. The RSC in the US has a Yahoo Group which is rather old technology but it does provide another place for people to find them and it is another quick and eay way to communicate with people.
We started a 'Princeton American Chemical Society Local Section' Facebook page for reasons aready stated. We maintain a website and are also in the process of creating a ACS Network 'Group' for our Section. I agree with Les' comment about going to where people are getting their information and how they are communicating. In such unique times of four or five generations in the workspace--ACS Members-- that bring vastly different sets of values, beliefs, expectations, OMG, we've got to have a variety of tracks for communication.
I'll second Les' and Randy's comments that we should use a variety of communication tools, each geared towards reaching a different demographic of our local section. In the California Section, we use our website, direct emails to members, Facebook, ACS Network, event aggregators such as "bayareascience.org", and USPS mailings (for things like ballots). Each has advantages and disadvantages, and the challenge is to make sure the message is consistent. So far, it seems to be working, but I can foresee a situation where different demographics in our section use different tools, but we lose consistency in the overall message of what we're trying to accomplish. Part of my role as Chair of the section is to try to communicate a consistent message about what the California Section's goals are, and to allow our different committees to communicate that message as best suits their particular constituents. There's a bit of a balancing act here, but let's see how it all works out a year from now!
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