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NPA expands social media footprint

By Hank Schultz , 04-Dec-2012

The Natural Products Association is expanding its social media presence with new pages on Pinterest and Google +, the organization announced recently.

NPA has been a leader in online engagement with its membership and other interested parties, executive director John Shaw told NutraIngredients-USA.  Traffic  numbers  for the organization’s website show the growth, he said.

“We were getting toward 450,000 unique visitors total in 2011.   WE are looking at crossing 470,000 visitors for this year. WE get about 30,000 visitors to our website a month.”

“When we look at our prescences on Twitter and Facebook we have a significant presence for a trade organization our size,” he said.

Social media growth exploding

The growth and influence of social media networks is undeniable.  A Pew Trust survey from 2011 found that half of all adults US adults were using some sort of social network.  Usage declined with age, but more than half of the 30-49 and almost half of the 49-64 age groups were engaged with social media. Facebook still dominates the landscape, with about 65% of all social media registered users (YouTube was next with about 21%), but the overall growth curve showed an exponential curve, meaning those smaller slices of the pie—for Twitter, for LinkedIn, for Google +—still account for significant and growing numbers of users.

“What we are seeing this important trend towards members and interested third parties to look for information online concerning NPA,” Shaw said.

And Shaw said the new sites are not merely a way to get the word out;  the intent is for information to flow the other way, too.

“What’s good about this is when we are reaching out, expanding into the social media sphere, we are providing additional platforms for engagement,”  Shaw said. “This expansion really is a two-way street. We are providing information but we are also inviting opportunity for commentary.”

And, Shaw said, the social media platforms help serve strictly institutional needs.

“We also think that this is an important membership tool,” he said.

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