Using Social Media in Economic Development

Posted by Guillermo Mazier on Mar 17, 2011 9:10:07 AM

Including social media in your marketing plan can take little time and allow your organization to reach your desired audience, if done correctly.

Many Economic Development groups compete for attention from national and international audiences—trying to give them a glimpse of what they have to offer with the hopes of garnering interest. While it is one thing to create a great platform to showcase your area, how do you actively recruit and engage your desired audience?

Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, in upstate New York, is a great example of how a strong social media plan can help your organization find success. Shelby Schneider, Director of Marketing and Economic Development Specialist at the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, saw the need to engage more with social media and included it in their five-year marketing plan.

Schneider wanted to improve communications with internal and external stakeholders and was drawn to social media by its ability to connect with its audience—not to mention how cost-effective the option is. As Schneider explained, “industry follows people, that’s why we felt the need to connect with our customers on a human basis. Social Media gives us that opportunity.”

While many professionals feel overwhelmed by the world of social media, it simply takes patience and determination to learn the ropes. With the support of the private organization’s president and local stakeholders, Schneider took the initiative and educated herself on the various platforms.

Schneider spends approximately one hour each day on social media and has seen tremendous success—specifically on Saratoga’s Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages. While their presence is still expanding, Schneider feels tremendous growth is coming due to their online efforts.

As Saratoga’s social media presence continues to gain respect, the organization now holds weekly meetings with its stakeholders to educate them on creating their own social media pages. In addition, Schneider is excited about the emerging trends in social media and feels mobile is the next big thing.

To learn more about the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, visit

Topics: Social Media, Online Marketing

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