ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL -- The American Amusement Machine Association launched a new industry-themed "fan page" on Facebook, the world's most popular social network boasting 60 million U.S. members and more than 250 million worldwide.
The page, titled "Out-Of-Home Entertainment," is AAMA's new home on Facebook, and was designed and launched by the association's marketing and communications manager, Vanessa Cabrera, who commented: "In today's digital world, you cannot promote anything without discussing social networking."
AAMA is positioning the page as the Internet hub for coin- op, helping to keep people and companies in the industry connected with each other. "We will also strive to ultimately reach the end user: our player- base," Cabrera said. "We feel it is extremely important to keep them abreast and excited over what the out-of- home entertainment industry has to offer. No doubt this market is all over social networking sites."
The marketing executive said the page will benefit from regularly posted industry news, photos and events information. Industry members, amusement and music companies, as well as related out-of-home entertainment industries, are also welcome to post their news, photos and announcements there, she added.
While AAMA will continue to issue regular news updates by email, its new Facebook page signals a gradual shifting of the association's marketing strategy. Social networking is increasingly becoming the "center of gravity" for a broad communications footprint for AAMA. Cabrera said the association now uses several online communications channels including its own website -- coin-op.org -- as well as accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Plaxo. The cross- posting of information received on all these channels to AAMA's Facebook page is also in the works.
A recent story in The Wall Street Journal noted that most of the top 200 retailers in the U.S. now host Facebook pages. AAMA is simply keeping up with the times, Cabrera explained.
"Today's businesses are aggressively utilizing social networking to market themselves, gain information, reach wider audiences and encourage more participation and dialog," she noted. "I anticipate that all e-newsletters will eventually take on a new format through social networking. It is a very exciting time to dive into a new digital world, but like everyone else, we are still learning."