How the # Sign Can Boost Economic Development Marketing

October 28, 2011

Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog that discussed how Cincinnati and Charlotte were using hashtags on Twitter to reach Chiquita’s CEO directly on why their city was the best choice for the company’s corporate headquarters.

If you’re wondering, hashtags are ways that people on Twitter can follow information on specific topics or news items. By putting a hash symbol (#) in front of a word or phrase, the topic you want to follow and discuss can be easily monitored. Just check out #worldseries to see what’s being said right now about last night’s epic game.

For economic development specifically, we can use hashtags to monitor conversations happening about a conference, an industry, an event and our city.

Here are some hashtags I’ve found useful in monitoring the dialogue for economic development:

#business, #econdev, #ecodev, #IEDC, #jobs, #your city, #manufacturing and #energy.

To follow these conversations, I’ve set up a stream in Hootsuite, but you can track the ones you like by going to www.hashtag.org, setting up an RSS feed or creating Twitter search feed in Google Reader, even if you’re not on Twitter.

In addition, I’ve noticed that EDOs like the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and Charlotte Chamber of Commerce have created hashtags (#CleantechHub, #cltplanning) for events that they are hosting or attending so that their local audience (including the media) can keep track of the conversation.

Creating and using hashtags is an easy (and inexpensive) marketing tactic you can use in your program if you’re trying to find different ways to engage your key audiences.

How do you use hashtags? Which ones have you found to be the most effective for monitoring what’s happening in economic development as well as industries you are promoting?

Susan Brake

Written by Susan Brake

Susan Brake is Vice President at DCI overseeing the digital media strategy for all the firm’s economic development clients. Since joining the company, she has effectively leveraged traditional and social media tactics to reach target audiences for her clients large and small.

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