Friday, August 14, 2009

KEDC to use "social networking" to draw businesses to Kilgore


When in Rome, do as the Romans.

When marketing the economic development opportunities available in your city, do Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Amanda Nobles, manager of the Kilgore Economic Development Corporation, told her board members during their regular meeting Tuesday night that KEDC has opted to use "social networking" to get the word out about doing business in Kilgore.

"The more times you get Kilgore EDC or Synergy Park's name out through whatever medium you use, that's what triggers the Google searches and those types of things, so the more times Kilgore will pop up on someone's radar screen," Nobles explained.

Nobles said she tries to put "interesting information" on the Web sites.

"For instance, if someone came to tour the (new Synergy Park) shell building, we'd say 'A prospect toured Kilgore Texas USA 80,000-square-foot available building.' That's a short message that gets 'Kilgore Texas USA' out there. It gets that someone is looking at the building and that we have an 80,000-square-foot building available and that's the kind of information we're trying to share," Nobles said.

She adds it is a challenge to "think in short sentences" but KEDC "tries to keep our information out there, to keep it sharp and to make sure people know what's going on with us."

Nobles noted social networking on these relatively new sites is a way to communicate with younger people, especially young commercial real estate salesmen and site selection consultants.

"We can't keep marketing with the same old tools," Nobles said. "We've got to grow with the times and use the tools that are coming available, and be sure we are a part of the marketing that's going on right now."

All three Web sites offer free subscriptions, so there's no real cost involved, Nobles said, with the exception of the time it takes to post messages.

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