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Archive for the ‘Social Software and Economic Development’ Category

Building Your Creative Economy: Attract Alumni through Social Media

The loss of educated graduates has become almost an accepted fact of life in small and rural communities and is most definitely a drain on a community’s ability to develop its creative economy.

Social media, however, offers your community a powerful means of finding and reconnecting with your town’s expats, and the opportunity to provide them with reasons to come back.

Former student high school alumni groups are some of the most popular and abundant groups on Facebook. For every high school of any size there will be at least one, and often several, Facebook groups for former students to join. These are hubs for people who share common experiences to reconnect with old friends, and share memories and photos of the glory days. You’re likely a member of one or more of these groups yourself. (more…)

Social Media Optimization

Readers of Economic Development Tech Trends will be familiar with the term search-engine optimization. It describes techniques, such as embedding keywords on web pages that increase the likelihood that your website will appear near the top of results pages generated by search engines.

Economic developers have become increasingly aware of the importance of search-engine optimization in recent years. Now a newer term – social media optimization – is also emerging. The two go hand in hand and have the same goal, which is to attract as much attention as possible from site selectors to your investment-attraction website.

Social media optimization essentially is a set of tactics that make the content of your web pages more highly visible to users of social-media websites and increase links from these sites back to your website. The result – your website becomes the center of a relevant network of interest.

Social media optimization can take many different forms, including text, images, audio and video. Websites such as DiggDeliciousFacebook and Revver are all relevant as they constitute increasingly popular channels for presenting sources of information and interaction for site selectors and other economic development professionals.

Some bloggers have been calling social media optimization the next level of search-engine optimization, or SEO 2.0. Social media (more…)

The Importance of Social Media Bookmarking

When a new technology trend becomes established it often has implications for investment attraction. It is now widely known, for example, that the web is the most important medium used by site selectors to gather information. A new rule of thumb arises from this – the quality of your website is a key factor in determining the success of your economic development program.

What characterizes a high-quality website? There are many facets to the answer but one principle has become clear: as a medium for communications, the site needs to be more than the sum of its parts.

That is, the site should have the ability to generate interest and activity beyond itself – beyond being simply a place where people can visit and find information. Your site should be the center of a wide and active network of interest.

This is where Web 2.0 comes in and social media bookmarking is one facet of Web 2.0 tactics. It can be used to enhance your website so that people can more easily discover, remember and share the information you publish about your community.

545 socialBookmarking widget The Importance of Social Media Bookmarking

By providing easy to use and conveniently located bookmarking links on your website you can encourage visitors to add your (more…)

What Social Collaboration Means to Economic Development

Communities everywhere are trying to build their local economies based on attracting young professionals and the innovative companies of tomorrow. How can economic-development practitioners play an integral part in this mission?

In addition to their traditional tasks, such as marketing available properties and lobbying for incentives, today’s economic development practitioners should see themselves as catalysts for economic growth through social collaboration.

For innovation to thrive, there needs to be strong collaboration among stakeholder groups, open lines of communication, links between the public and private sector, and an understanding of the role that government must play. These are areas in which the economic development practitioner is typically the expert. The practitioner understands the needs of the business community and the capabilities and resources of the public sector, and therefore can provide a communications bridge.

Since the Internet has become the number one tool for businesses and site selectors in their location search, it has to be the foundation for your communications strategy in two ways:

  • Providing a primary vehicle for the dissemination of facts, stories and anecdotes about your community and its entrepreneurs, so as to inspire and attract others to locate their businesses there;
  • Establishing a shared vision for the future of a community and involving local stakeholders (more…)

The Social Dimension

It’s quiet out there, isn’t it? Economic development programs seem to have hit the “pause” button and are stuck there. But underneath the surface of this recession, something is happening that hasn’t happened before.

A new dimension is being added to the business of investment attraction. You could call it the social dimension.

Social software has very quickly moved toward the center of business attention from the periphery. Investment-attraction websites increasingly include social-software tools and links. When site selectors hit the “play” button again, their screens will have a different appearance because this dimension will be added.

It’s no surprise. Some business forecasters saw this trend coming, Gartner among them. A report issued by Gartner in late 2008, Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009, urged business organizations to adopt social media sooner rather than later.

“Your organization is an entity in the broad social Web,” Gartner advised. “Get to know Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites and applications. The risks of not participating are growing, while the risks of participating can be (more…)

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