Lately, a lot of my time has been spent roaming the web. But it is in pursuit of a goal. Scott Schiave, AME’s director of marketing, asked me to chair a group of volunteer members—the Social Media Council of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence—to raise awareness of the association, provide more value to members, and in doing so, grow membership.
Responding to member feedback about a need for more online interaction, AME has been building its own social media space—AMEConnect. At the same time, platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube have been hailed as the secrets to success in Web 2.0, whatever that is.
Here’s a quick report on what the Council is doing:
It all happened through networking
We have a talented group of manufacturing professionals on the Council: Richard Lebovitz, Laura Cibulsky, Jason Semovoski, and I are the current core members.
Both LinkedIn and Twitter helped us recruit our council. Laura joined the Council after I posted on the AME LinkedIn group’s job page aone requiring a lot of work , no pay, but offering visibility among active manufacturing leaders. She applied and has become the voice behind AMEConnect on Twitter. Most of her posts link to current news articles and blog posts of value to our Twitter followers.
Current state in September
In assessing AME’s current state on social media sites, we discovered two spontaneously founded LinkedIn groups that we had to combine, using LinkedIn’s disappointing process.
There was also an AME team testing the beta version of AMEConnect. It included Becky Morgan and Ken Rolfes, who are now ex-officio members of the Council. Lea Tonkin of Target magazine is a member, tying us to both content and making Target a print medium for spreading the word about our online networks. Scott, plus Rene Ryan and Ashley DeVecht from the consulting group are also Council members.
Becky Morgan let us know that she had created a Twitter keyword (“hashtag”) for the October conference. I began to see Jason Semovoski using the hashtag to help promote the conference. Jason and I became mutual followers and started direct messaging about the conference and AME’s social media plans. Jason was already much savvier at using the various social media tools and agreed to join the Council.
Current state in December
As of now, I’m managing LinkedIn, Laura has Twitter, Jason has YouTube, and Richard has SlideShare. Facebook is on the back burner. I think we need a strategy for interacting with blogs too. All these channels have to refer to each other and integrate AME’s message and value. They are meant to prepare the way for the proprietary AMEConnect platform
The idea is for each Council member to adopt a “channel” and build an AME presence there, integrating and coordinating the networks. We’ve made the most progress on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Will the experiments yield the desired results? We don’t know until we try, learn from mistakes, and try again. One thing we know—if the customer pull isn’t there, we’re barking up the wrong tree. But the way things are now, there’s always a new tree to bark at.
Join AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence) on LinkedIn. Follow @AMEConnect on Twitter.