Using Social Media to Connect with Division Members
How can division leaders use social media tools to advance the mission of their divisions? A key part of every division's mission is to enable their members to identify and connect with others who share a common interest in technical and/or professional information. Social media tools can be ideal ways to facilitate such interaction. We'll take a look at three tools, the ACS Network, Facebook, and Twitter–and point out ways members are using them.
The ACS Network has more than 220,000 registered users, and its audience is the chemical community. With its document sharing and ideation tools, it's a great way to conduct ACS business. You can form and customize groups that are open, closed, or secret. A division might use an open group to promote discussions about upcoming programming, while having a hidden group for a committee to evaluate award applications.
Facebook is by far the largest social media platform, with more than 800 million registered users. ACS has a page on Facebook, as do many divisions such as Analytical Chemistry and History of Chemistry. Setting up a page for your division allows Facebook users to "like" it and show they're proud to be a member.
Twitter, with 300 million registered users, is a microblogging service that lets users share short updates–tweets are 140 characters or less–using a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Divisions with a presence on Twitter include @ACSCOMP, @ACSDivCHED , @ACSPMSE, @ACSBMGT, and @ACSSCHB.
Perhaps the most interesting application of Twitter for ACS focuses on national meetings. Using a hashtag (#ACSSanDiego), users indicate their comment is about the upcoming ACS meeting. In Denver, we saw close to 1,800 meeting-related tweets from attendees, journalists, exhibitors, and those interested in the subject but unable to attend. Twitter allows attendees to communicate with each other, plan ad-hoc events, share thoughts about presentations, and make connections with others in the field. We've also seen attendees "live tweet" from inside a session, creating a buzz around breakthroughs and increasing session room attendance.
ACS staff is happy to help you develop and implement social media strategies. Look for more information coming to Get Involved, Stay Involved about how to get started with these tools. Alternatively, you can contact Chris McCarthy; firstname.lastname@example.org.