The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission (EDC) is proud to announce the launch of a new and comprehensive social networking platform based on a WordPress blog, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The new platform is now driven from the EDC’s updated website, www.hagerstownedc.org, which highlights the County and its location and business-friendly attributes.
New content and targeted webpages have been added to help users find economic development and business information more quickly. The site encourages local businesses to submit their news to the EDC – so the information can be shared more quickly and increase the likelihood of coverage by local, regional, and even national media. The recently updated version of the website includes information on the following:
With the new social media platform, the EDC Directors and staff will blog about the latest business happenings which will then be automatically 'tweeted' (disseminated) to the world through the Hoot Suite social media web application. Hoot Suite simultaneously posts all messages to the EDC’s Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages which will drive more traffic to the website and improve chances of being found by search engines.
“We are focused on engaging our targeted audiences - existing businesses in Washington County and businesses who are looking to relocate here - through our new social media and blogging platform. We hope to start more informal conversations about the advantages of doing business here,” said Timothy R. Troxell, CEcD, executive director of the EDC. “I’ve spent the past week ‘practice blogging’ in preparation for the launch and I'm finding it a great way to communicate the latest information about our community.”
The information on the new platform can be shared with a wider Internet audience (followers or fans) who can post information to their Facebook status, tweet their followers or link the information to their blogs or websites. The EDC's social media platform also allows for mobile participation. For example, the EDC’s Deputy Director, Robin Ferree, CEcD is currently at the AeroDef Manufacturing Conference in Anaheim California and will be blogging and tweeting to encourage others to network with him there (in Booth 1160).
EDC Social Media History
The EDC launched an award-winning, innovative website in 2008 that was targeted toward site selection professionals and created an email marketing campaign to help drive traffic to the new website. In 2009, they started using social media through Twitter and limited participation in LinkedIn. Now, they are leveraging social media together with an even more interactive website, in a comprehensive strategy that is state-of-the-art for the economic development industry. The EDC also just posted a brief video on YouTube about the upcoming Celebration of Business event, which honors businesses in Washington County.
"With the addition of blogging, Facebook, Twitter,YouTube, and continued email marketing, and the resulting rich amount of keyword text, photography and video, we plan to give the community as well as the media a better sense of the business activities happening in Washington County," said Sarah Lankford, EDC marketing specialist. “The new challenge is teaching the staff to use the right lingo when referencing their social media participation. I’ve heard everything from ‘I tweetered’ to ‘put that on linking in,’' Lankford said. “My personal blunder was when using the new social media program Hoot Suite. For awhile, I unknowingly called it ‘Hoot Scoot,’ instead.”
“But regardless of lingo, everyone at the EDC looks forward to personal conversations with our existing businesses and businesses looking to relocate or expand into Hagerstown and Washington County. It will be a great way to tell people why this area is so great!”
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Webpage: Visit www.hagerstownedc.org