SEDC's Social Media efforts featured in Business Xpansion Journal
2013-01-08 - SEDC's Social Media marketing efforts were recently featured in Business Expansion Journal's January Magazine. "How to Like Social Media" By Mark Kleszczewski.
As the rapid adoption of social networks for personal communication and entertainment continues, businesses and organizations have gotten more involved in leveraging social media channels to accelerate communication while expanding the visibility and reach of their brands. A recent Harvard Business Review study reports that 57 percent of businesses plan to increase spending on social media, with 38 percent of CEOs labeling it a high priority.
Economic developers and site selectors are no exception to this phenomenon. “One of the reasons for social media’s growing importance within economic development is that it can have a relatively large impact with little capital investment, especially when compared to expensive marketing strategies like printing brochures,” says Anatalio Ubalde, co-founder and co-CEO, GIS Planning, Inc. “This certainly helps explain why economic development organizations plan to increase their budget allotments for social media more than any other marketing strategy besides websites.”...
"A great example of how a strong social media plan can help an organization find success is illustrated by the Saratoga (N.Y.) Economic Development Corp. The group took the initiative of engaging more with social media, including it in its five-year marketing plan and as a result, generated hundreds of new connections reaching as far away as Malaysia.
“Industry follows people, that is why we felt the need to connect with our customers on a human basis,” says Shelby Schneider, director of marketing and economic development specialist, Saratoga Economic Development Corp. “Social media gives us that opportunity. Our goal was to educate people about our mission, our business activity and our assets here — and to do it on a day-to-day basis.”
Just like using paid ads, direct mail and other tools to reach out to prospects, you have to find out where the target audience is, reach them in the right sequence and stick to a plan, Schneider notes. “The first steps in putting together our social media marketing plan was knowing who was to contribute and when, setting up the appropriate pages and profiles and then going all out to invite people to participate. Also, we had to answer the questions, ‘once you have a captive audience, what do you do with them?’ ‘And not only keep them, but how to engage and grow with them?’ It doesn’t happen on its own.”