By Noelle Salerno

Social media provides economic developers with an effective platform for engaging both regional stakeholders and prospects and communicating its strengths to target audiences. A single tweet might not be cause for a consultant or company to add a community to its prospect list, but consistent and frequent posts about expanding businesses, innovative educational programs, rankings and other positive news will create an impression that the community is a strong destination for business. That positive impression will increase the chance that it is considered in site locations.

Here are a few do’s and don’t about using Twitter to promote your economic development message:

DO:

  • Share news about project announcements.
  • Promote your community when it appears in national rankings.
  • Talk about new happenings at local companies and educational institutions.
  • Share news that showcases economic progress, such as job growth numbers and infrastructure improvements.
  • Tweet about awards your organization has received.
  • Talk about your organization’s participation in national and international conferences and marketing missions.
  • Congratulate local companies for their successes.
  • Share information about regional events and community engagement opportunities.
  • Retweet followers’ tweets that share positive news about your community.
  • Share links to blog posts, newsletters and other original content produced by your organization on Twitter and other social media platforms.
  • Use hashtags to promote conversations about local economic development.
  • Create new hashtags for specific marketing campaigns and monitor activity of these conversations.
  • Cross-post information on both Twitter and Facebook.
  • Share pictures on Twitter and cross-post to Instagram, Flickr, and/or Pinterest (depending on your service).
  • Follow and engage target industry leaders and influencers, associations and local reporters.

DON’T:

  • Tweet about negative news, such as job losses or companies expanding out of the region.
  • Share local news stories that do not directly relate to economic development.
  • Tweet about polarizing or political opinions.
  • Exceed the Twitter character limit. When cross-posting from Facebook or LinkedIn, ensure the post is 140 characters or less so the message does not get cut off.