By Noelle Salerno

Social media is an important part of all economic development marketing plans. But what does it take to make it effective? This video is a great example of how engaging a social media campaign can be:

Click here to view the “Kentucky Kicks Ass” case study.

According to this case study, “Three proud Kentuckians took it upon themselves to rebrand the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, a big task considering they had no money and no one asked them to do it.” Their catchy slogan caught the attention of national media, putting all eyes on Kentucky and what makes the state unique. It didn’t cost much, yet generated a huge amount of buzz.

A similar story took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When Newsweek called Grand Rapids a “dying city”, this video was created as a rebuttal with the help of 5,000 residents that are passionate about their community:

Click here to view the Grand Rapids video.

While not every marketing campaign will go viral like this, economic developers can still take advantage of social media platforms to engage their local community. For example, when working with JAXUSA Partnership we discovered that despite its many strengths, Northeast Florida’s residents were overly modest about sharing the region’s success stories and often times unaware of them. We worked with the JAXUSA Partnership to launch a storytelling campaign, JAXBoldest. The first phase of the campaign asked residents to identify bold initiatives across the region – companies, nonprofits, community initiatives – that make Northeast Florida great. More than 100 stories were submitted and thousands of people voted. JAXBoldest helped energize residents and instilled confidence to talk up the community. This in itself will provide a significant lift to economic development and talent retention.

It is often up to economic developers to provide a vision that unites their community. When time is spent on engagement, citizens are more likely to speak highly of their community and the media is more likely to pay attention to economic development news. Social media is a great platform to accomplish this using sincere messages and conversations that reach internal and external audiences.

Stay tuned later this week when we share a few Twitter Tips to kick your social media strategy into high gear.