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Archive for November, 2015

Economic Development and Social Media

Social media can be a powerful tool when you’re focusing on promoting economic development in your community. A quality social media presence attracts attention from people within the community and potential outside investors.

On the other hand, poorly managed social media can sabotage lucrative retail recruitment deals. If you’re going to use social media in your economic development efforts, make sure it’s a properly managed campaign. Using Retail Attractions streamlines your economic development efforts, and ensures your social media campaign is a help rather than a hindrance.

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Accurate

Making sure the information you share is accurate plays a critical role in encouraging economic development. If your community’s social media isn’t managed well and frequently circulates half-truths and rumors, it makes it hard for investors to trust your community.

Restricting who’s able to post is one of the best ways to ensure accurate information is shared. The city leaders who are best informed on matters of economic development should be in charge of what gets posted in the marketing campaigns. Retail Attractions can advise on training a social media team about what to post, and how to manage mistruths that others in the community might circulate by accident.

Interesting

Accuracy isn’t the only thing that counts on social media. Your community’s posts also have to catch readers’ eyes if you want them to trend well. One of the best ways to do this is incorporating video and pictures. An image will catch someone’s eye when they’re scrolling through social media a lot easier than a post that’s just text. People are also more likely to share a post that contains images or video.

You can drive more traffic to your posts by using hashtags. This is especially important on Twitter, but they’re also supported by other social media platforms like Facebook. Hashtags let you reach people who are monitoring specific keywords. When someone clicks on the hashtags #econdev (Economic Development) or #CRE (Corporate/Commercial Real Estate), you want them to find posts from your community.

Relevant

Once you’re reaching your target audience, make sure you’re posting things that will encourage them to engage with your community. Show that you’re supporting local entrepreneurs. Share pictures of sites and properties that are available for economic development. Announce positive news in your community. Post interesting demographic information, including data provided by Retail Attractions.

While you’re posting all this information, try to tell a story. Narrative catches your audience’s attention more surely than dry facts. People like to hear success stories, watch video interviews with local entrepreneurs, and read the story of why a company chose to build in your community. On platforms like Twitter where the amount you can write is limited, use social media to share blog posts and videos.

Building Interest in Retail Development – Closing The Deal (Part 2)

You know your city demographics, you’ve shown there’s a demand in your community for what retailers can offer, and you’ve started building relationships with investors and business leaders. Now that retailers are interested in developing your city (see Part One), it’s time to focus on closing the deal.

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Build on Relationships

Preexisting relations and familiarity with involved parties is very helpful during the negotiation process. If you and your community don’t have those connections yet, don’t worry. Retail Attractions’ founder Rickey Hayes has a strong network of contacts, and when you hire our company he’ll introduce your city officials to investors, builders and business leaders, and also¬† help with negotiations.

Since investors already have a relationships with Retail Attractions, negotiations will start out with an established level of trust that helps speed up the negotiation process. Not only that, but your community’s relationship with Retail Attractions will also help smooth over or prevent challenges and misunderstandings during the construction and regulation process.

Effective Negotiations

All too often, communities that are inexperienced dealing with investors and developers start off on the wrong foot when negotiating. If you offer too little at first, it can put-off investors and make them take their business somewhere else. But if you offer too much, it hurts your community. You need to find a middle ground that gets everyone talking, which can be hard if you’ve never worked with major developers before.

One of the advantages of hiring Retail Attractions is that your community gains access to a development professional who will advise on negotiations. We know how to get negotiations off to an effective start, and what type of incentives to negotiate for. This helps ensure you don’t scare-off potential investors with demands they think are unreasonable, or hurt your community by signing too much away.

Demonstrate Knowledge

Like you, retailers want their relationship with your city to go smoothly and be profitable for both parties. You can help convince them that their development project in your city will finish on time and within budget by demonstrating experience and knowledge working with building codes, EPA regulations, and other factors that contribute to a development project’s cost in time and money.

Once again, Retail Attractions offers services that are key in showing your community understands retail developers’ needs. We know what factors retailers are looking at, and we’ll provide you with Demographic Data and Market Analysis that you can share with interested companies, as well as advise your community on factors that will affect development planning. Our goal is fostering good relationships that will benefit your community now, and in the long-term as you continue to work with future investors.