Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Social Media: Coming to the Rescue of Downtowns

In the past it cost a great deal in advertising dollars to promote our downtowns and draw crowds to our events, but tools like facebook, if used appropriately, can do this for a fraction of the cost and can help create the buzz and vitality that make places come alive.

Recently I worked with Corey Brown at Bright Cowork to turn downtown Winchester's static website into a site that constantly gives friends and fans news and updates about downtown happenings. Any time an event or news item is posted to the site, it automatically posts to our facebook and twitter feeds as well. Without spending any money on advertising, our fan base has grown to 433 in less than two months, and Old Town Winchester has seen a 25% increase in event participation.

Once we start advertising on facebook, with targeted ads geared toward specific geographic areas, we know that our fan base will grow into the thousands and, as a result, more and more people will be drawn to see our wonderful restaurants, shops, historic attractions, and events. Far from being a destroyer of human interaction and community, as many contend, social media has come to our rescue and promises to help dramatically in revitalizing historic Winchester.

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