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Hamilton Economic Development

City takes first place in social media marketing

Hamilton’s economic development department has topped a list of Canadian cities marketing themselves through social media.

The city tied with Halifax, both earning a score of 84 on a matrix designed by Montreal-based marketing consultants Intelegia. Across North America, the only city earning a higher score was New York, clocking a 92.

The matrix combines a list of criteria, including frequency of social media posts, number of followers across various platforms and engagement with the social media community, says Intelegia president and founder Isabelle Poirier.

Hamilton has earned high marks on the index since it first came out in 2009, but this is the first year it has reached No. 1.

“They have a clear plan of what they want to achieve. Their content strategy distinguishes them. It’s not just, ‘We’re on Facebook because we have to be,’” said Poirier. “From the outside, it’s clear they have a plan.”

The city was particularly cited for an animated video called Wake Up From Your Commuting Nightmare, which cajoled those commuting to Toronto to consider living and working in Hamilton.

Norm Schleehahn, manager of business development with the economic development department, says staff has also put a lot of energy and resources in ensuring various city websites are optimized to show up prominently in search engines such as Google and to be read on tablets and smartphones.

“We’re being more aggressive and creative. It’s important to the resurgence of the downtown and the creative core. Social media resonates with the younger population, the people we’re trying to attract and to keep in Hamilton.”

Schleehahn said the city will continue to focus on social media and that next year, all department staff will have tablets while out in the field.

“Five years ago, none of this was on the radar screen, but it’s a whole new way of doing business.”

Article courtesy The Hamilton Spectator.

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