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NBAA’s Social Media Tools Make It Easy to Share Ideas, Stay Engaged
Jan. 6, 2013
Business aviation is an industry that’s constantly changing, so NBAA does everything it can to keep Members up-to-date on the latest issues, share information and make their voices heard. One of the most popular ways to stay engaged with the Association is through social media.
Generally, every news article published on the NBAA website at www.nbaa.org is posted to the Association’s social media sites immediately, along with news about upcoming NBAA events and Member benefits, said Jason Wolf, NBAA’s director of Internet communications. Articles are also picked up in the weekly NBAA Update e-newsletter every Monday, which offers free subscriptions to Members and the public.
“So anyone who follows us on social media gets all our news first,” Wolf said. “It’s the fastest way to get the most-up-to-date industry information.”
Facebook and Twitter are the largest of NBAA’s social media sites. At the beginning of 2014, NBAA’s Facebook page had been “liked” by more than 15,600 people – up 25 percent from a year before – and the Association had nearly 18,500 followers on Twitter.
NBAA staff also receives questions from Members through Facebook and Twitter, and work to answer each question as quickly as possible.
For all NBAA events, the Association creates a hashtag that can be used on Twitter and Facebook (for example #NBAA14 or #ABACE14), so that attendees can let their contacts know they’re at the event or so they can get their news out to fellow attendees. For Members who can’t make it to an event, following the NBAA hashtag is a great way to avoid missing out.
And if it’s photos or videos Members are looking for, those can also be found on the Association’s social media sites, in addition to NBAA’s YouTube channel.
“More than any other site, Facebook is the place we post the most photos of our events, like the annual Convention, testifying on Capitol Hill or anything else NBAA takes part in,” added Wolf.
Social Media for Advocacy
Last year, NBAA launched a new Twitter-based Contact Congress tool that Members can use to tweet their congressional representatives with time-sensitive advocacy messages.
“The work NBAA does with social media isn’t just about engaging with Members to provide customer service or promoting the industry – although those are top priorities,” said Wolf. “It’s also about mobilizing Members for advocacy and enabling real-world business aviation professionals to communicate directly with their elected officials.”
Air Mail, Another Valued NBAA Social Media Venue
In addition to its public social media venues, the Association has Air Mail, NBAA’s private social network, a Members-only space for business aircraft operators to collaborate and have discussions. Launched in 1997 as an email-based listserv, Air Mail predates Facebook and Twitter and is still one of the most popular and frequently used online resources offered by NBAA. Through Air Mail, Members can ask questions and get answers from their fellow Members on operational, regulatory and business issues.
Last year, NBAA launched NBAA Air Mail Forums, to supplement the traditional email listservs, with web forum features including the ability to “like” posts, send private messages and post profile images. Email messages sent to an Air Mail discussion list address are broadcast to everyone subscribed that list, and are included in Air Mail Forums. Air Mail Forum posts are emailed to Air Mail Listserv subscribers for that topic.
“Some Members strongly urged us to make Air Mail a web-based forum. Others urged us, just as strongly, to keep it an ‘old school’ listserv,” said Wolf. “We hope this hybrid approach offers the best of both worlds.”
NBAA’s Members-only social network offers participants an instant community of business aviation professionals, vetted by their status as NBAA Members. “The wide open nature of Twitter and Facebook is great, but sometimes it’s better to ask questions of a small group of trusted colleagues. That’s why Air Mail continues to be a popular and valuable resource, despite the exponential growth of other social media venues,” said Wolf.