Evanston, IL – One year ago, the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®) announced its multi-faceted social networking program to serve massage therapists, students, teachers and consumers through the latest technology. This month, the association’s Facebook page reached 7,000 followers, while its LinkedIn users hit 1,000 and its Twitter followers approached 900.

These social networking venues, and AMTA’s YouTube presence, bring the most current association updates and news to AMTA members and others in the profession. “Most importantly,” says AMTA President Kathleen Miller-Read, “they have expanded communications within the association, increasing the ability of our members, other massage therapists and consumers to dialog with us.”

“Members interested in an immediate voice on national massage issues and other important topics discuss them in our AMTA community. And, one of AMTA’s greatest strengths is its community,” says Miller-Read.

The association Tweets from its national board of directors meetings, so members can follow the discussion. Tweets from its 2009 convention directed participants to onsite activity and let those who couldn’t attend follow important events at the convention. Through Facebook and LinkedIn, members have expressed their views, which help inform association decisions. AMTA also used its social media to help announce the release of the Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge and encourage massage therapists and other stakeholders to comment on the initial document.

AMTA’s YouTube channel has had approximately 7,800 channel views and nearly 9,700 uploaded views. AMTA regularly uses YouTube to share messages from the president, event recaps and member stories. The association began its YouTube presence in September 2008. Initial tests on Facebook began in spring 2009, with more than 500 people joining in only a few months, without a formal announcement of the test. AMTA recently launched “Facebook: A Guide to Social Networking for Massage Therapists” to help its members navigate social media and use it to promote their practices.

The association looks forward to expanding its involvement in social networking, recognizing the value of these communications venues to foster discussion and AMTA’s unmatched massage therapist community. It also supports personal interactions and networking at the local and state levels that have always been part of AMTA’s chapter activities.

The easiest way to connect with AMTA through its social media is to visit www.amtamassage.org and click on the corresponding icons.

The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest nonprofit, professional association for massage therapists with some 57,000 massage therapist and massage school members. The association is directed by volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage