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Archive for September, 2011

Cities and Social Media

Written by
Rickey Hayes
Retail Attractions, LLC

In the August 17, 2011, business section of the Tulsa World there is an interesting article. The article states that Taco Bueno recently decided to locate a store in Glenpool. That much is true. The article says that the demographics and location played a minor role, and that the driving force for the site selection was a Facebook page where Glenpool citizens voiced their appetite for Bueno’s food. Now I’m not saying that the Facebook page didn’t have an effect on the decision, it surely did. Readers of the Tulsa World should learn that social media is a powerful force. But make no mistake about it, the social media page will never replace the market dynamics and premium sales potential that Taco Bueno will enjoy on this site. In any restaurant or retail site it is always all about the bottom line. Two years of hard work and a dynamic effort by the City of Glenpool administration, consultants, brokers, and developers as well as Taco Bueno’s renowned real estate department should be factored in as well.

That being said, can social media be used by communities as a tool in recruiting retail? ABSOLUTELY! Cities should take advantage of any and all available means to market themselves to the watching world. The use of technology in every form helps a local entity share it’s attributes to those inquiring minds who are looking at the community as a place to live, work, get an education, and as we have already seen, looking to locate retail and restaurant sites.

In this economy, where every new retail deal will be scrutinized by the developer, the broker, the banker, and in house real estate department of the end user, cities should take the lead in providing accurate and dependable information on the strengths of the local market. We have proven that retailers and restaurants that tend to pass over generic city and chamber propaganda will listen to an independent, qualified, third party professional like Retail Attractions. And if the community is using Facebook to broadcast it’s retail potential, so much the better!

Let Retail Attractions help your community. We have helped dozens of local communities in several states see and change reality. Our firm can help you cast a vision and set a course for a thriving community where people want to live, work, shop and dine. Contact us today to make a seemingly overwhelming task more manageable.

Rickey Hayes is the principal of Retail Attractions, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping cities and developers successfully find retail sites, close deals and improve the quality of life for our client cities.