The American Bus Association (ABA) recently marked a milestone in member-driven social networking success for associations, as its number of members self-identifying and officially registering as "fans of ABA" on ABA's Facebook page surged past 1,000 people.
"Having more than 1,000 Facebook followers speaks volumes about the enthusiasm of our association members, their eagerness to connect with one another professionally and socially, and the value they find in using Facebook to exchange information and ideas with their peers as well as ABA's staff that's always ready to serve their needs," said ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. "Business relationships start with relationships first."
ABA carefully monitors feedback to Facebook postings, and regularly feeds the voracious appetite for information inherent in being a Facebook loyalist.
ABA made a strategic decision — knowing it was a risky in the Facebook frontier days of early 2009 — to end its blog to refocus on Facebook instead as the primary forum to reach members and receive feedback. Blogs were no longer leading edge technology anymore — but the function they served was not going to go away. Instead, ABA surmised, the function of posting and engaging by encouraging feedback and discussion was going to shift to social networking.
ABA's Facebook updates regularly on Hill legislation action, Marketplace and Product Pavilion developments, new member benefits and programs, and links to buzz-inducing news stories and other motorcoach, tourism and travel trends, ABA members flocked to become fans of the association on Facebook.