If you are in the chamber world, you obviously have a very strong affection for your town. You get to see first-hand the amazing things that the economic development council, the chamber, and your citizens are doing. It probably makes you quite proud.
But translating that into good social media post ideas or blog post ideas can sometimes be difficult, especially if what you want to talk about is something that you had a personal hand in. You can feel a little like bragging and nobody wants to do that.
It’s Not Bragging If It’s Helpful
Still, it’s important for you to find ways to sing the praises of your area and promote the things the chamber is doing without it feeling like bragging. One way to do that is to shift your focus. Don’t think that telling the community what the chamber is up to is about promoting yourself. Instead, think about how what you’re telling people is benefiting them.
For instance, if you are talking about the hard work and dedication the chamber has put into an economic development program, don’t think about how you’re promoting yourself and the work. You’re actually letting people know about an upcoming resource that will add value to their lives and to the community.
If you change your focus from you to them, it doesn’t feel quite so much like bragging.
But what about when there’s a general pride about the area you want to share? Maybe it’s not a big project but something smaller that brings joy to your life and you want to share it with the community. Social media can be an
Using Social Media to Promote Your Town
Using social media to promote your town gives you a wealth of content ideas. It also serves to help new residents or visitors. They can visit your social media profile and scroll back through all your past posts seeing some wonderful things about your area even if it’s after normal business hours and they can’t speak to someone at the chamber.
But for these posts to be their most effective you don’t want to keep showing the same old, same old. You want fresh posts that show the many sides of the area and all of its beauty. Here are a few ideas that you might not have thought of.
- Share the history of the area, both savory and unsavory. Whenever possible share vintage photos or current pictures of the area where something used to stand. If it’s recent history, invite people to share their memories. Take a storytelling approach to these posts and weave the background of the time period into the story.
- Highlight local heroes. These could be historic characters as well as people who are currently performing heroic actions. Again, tell their stories. Don’t shy away from everyday types of heroes either like a child selling lemonade in order to help a sick classmate raise money for an operation. Those types of stories make everyone feel like they can do something to improve the community.
- Find out who your famous former residents are. Research people born in your town or who grew up in your area but have since left. They may still think very highly of your area and as a place that shaped them. Reach out to these individuals and see if you can get a quote from them about your town. Social media makes this easier than it used to be reaching the ear of a famous person. Sometimes it takes just a few smart tweets or comments on Instagram.
- Talk stats. If your town is known for something amazing make sure you share that statistic with others. If you make it into an image quote or design, or even part of an infographic, people will pay more attention to it. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be an amazing statistic it could be something as important as pointing out the fact that your town is incredibly affordable compared to the average cost of living in the United States.
- Talk about the economic future of the area. What are leaders putting into place to help future employees find better jobs? What programs are you rolling out that could affect high school seniors in your area? Most of them are on social media. This is a great way to get them involved with the chamber by helping them understand what you’re doing to make sure their area is a town where they can find work in the future.
- Share things from the city council
, localbusiness leaders, schools, and other places and persons of note. Add your own commentary to the posts or point out why those things are so valuable.
. Peoplejust can’t get enough of sunsets. While you’re posting sunsets, don’t forget rainbows and weather conditions. People love to see storms. In fact, weather conditions and commentary about the weather ranks among some of my clients’ highest performing posts.
- Something your town is known for that very few others are. This is not the statistic we referred to above but more like a tasty treat. Think about things like scrapple, cheesesteaks, fish tacos, fried Oreos, or some other local delicacy that may have caught on beyond your town but originated with your area. For example, Seymour, Wisconsin claims to be Home of the Hamburger (even though their statue is of a cheeseburger – photo from RoadsideAmerica.com).
- Showcase sporting events big and small.This is an incredibly broad subject. It can encompass everything from the local elementary school flag football game all the way up to a bowl game brought into your area. No matter what level of play talk about the sport, highlight the people involved, tell their story, and become a resource for how to best enjoy the event. They will likely be very highly shared posts. If you don’t have sporting events that come to your area, keep an ear out for people from your area who are playing in big events elsewhere. For instance, you may have a former or current local high school player who’s going to a bowl game or a large combine. This can be a huge source of pride for your town. People will share posts like this. Sometimes the larger entity like the bowl game organizers or the town in which the bowl game is being held will pick up on the post you are sharing because it’s publicity for their event.
- Contests or feats
. Whenposting about sporting events don’t forget other things like marathons and 5ks, particularly those hosted as a fundraiser for a local charity. There are always stories behind the reason people participate. While you’re sharing details about the actual event, also share these personal stories behind the people who are making these events a success, including organizers and participants. Most people can’t help but share the social media posts they’re mentioned in.
- Create a local resources page on your website for people new to the area and one for people who are visiting the area. Make sure those pages are a one-stop shop for everything they need. By creating helpful pages like this, someone new to the area or someone planning a visit will likely bookmark your page and return to it later. While they plan their move or their trip they will likely spend a lot of time on your pages. This will increase the amount of time spent on your site, which always makes Google happy. If you take the time to create this resource, you want to ensure that you add these links to your social media post calendar. These can become nice evergreen posts that you can use as helpful filler in your social media planning schedule. You can also use these proactively when you’re listening on social media and you hear someone mention your area. Introduce yourself and send them the link to check it out.
- Share the little-known beautiful spots around town. For instance, sometimes an unused grain elevator against a dramatic sky can receive many shares. There are likely some commonly photographed spots in your area. You can continue to share those but also share some that are lesser-known.
- Make a map. If your town has a collection of something, consider creating an online or PDF walking map of how to get to each location. You can use this type of resource for things like covered bridges, most “Instagrammable” spots, murals, or animal statues. Add this URL or attachment to your evergreen list of things to share periodically. You don’t have to come up with every post on the fly. Some continue to hold their value over the months and years. Just make sure that if you have new additions, or in the case of a covered bridge you lose one, that you update your maps accordingly. If there’s another organization in town that is already creating the maps, you can still share them on social media. It’s likely that entity will appreciate the exposure.
- Showcase natural
beauty andanimals as well as local businesses that can help people explore that natural beauty.
- Highlight the behind-the-scenes safety
measures thatare taken in your town. Knowing this, can put some travelers or future residents’ minds at ease. Another area to highlight includes education. If your local schools are doing a special project or hosting a unique event share that. Not only will those involved in the event or project appreciate the publicity, the people who are considering moving to your area will enjoy seeing that side of the community as well.
These are just a few ideas of ways you can effectively highlight the uniqueness of your community. In order to make these posts as valuable as possible, consider creating social media posting schedule or