You can friend or follow just about anything on social media—your real friends and family, celebrities, organizations, upcoming movies, even food products. But are you keeping up with local government and business online?
Several local businesses already spread their gospel (not to mention deals and events) through Facebook and Twitter. The oversees the Lisle, Ill. Facebook page. Heck, even Lisle Patch promotes new content and shares community messages through our Facebook and Twitter pages.
While the Village operates a Twitter account to promote its seasonal French Market vendors, it is only recently that staff expanded their social media reach. The Village now officially conducts three Twitter accounts, as well as the Village of Lisle Facebook page. Staff believe that expanding social media reach is not only a way to deliver information to residents, but may encourage economic development through the support of local business.
This month the Village launches a series of free promotions for its Facebook fans, from hotel offers to free food. No purchase is necessary; a staff member said the name of the game is simply to drive customers into Lisle’s restaurants and stores.
Starting April 13, the Village will post a new, free deal on the Facebook page each Friday. Fans of the page will see the deal pop up in their news feeds, and will be the first individuals eligible to redeem the offer. The first deal will be from the .
Village Economic Development Director Catherine Schuster said she began approaching businesses to offer up a free product or service a few weeks ago. Participating businesses so far include , , , , , and .
Schuster said deals are confirmed through the end of September, and she’s currently working on promotions for October. She says the deals are one way to “encourage people to look at the Facebook page, because we are spending time on it and we think it’s informative and helpful.”
Both new and regular customers are eligible, and each offer will be available for roughly two weeks. Customers may print out the deal, or show the coupon to merchants on their phone to redeem.
“We’re confident once people go into businesses… they will be pleased with the quality of what local merchants have to offer,” Schuster said.
The hope is that they'll make additional purchases, or return in the future.
Because each deal varies in value, individual businesses have set quantity limits on what they’re offering.
Schuster said they’ve also made an arrangement with businesses if supplies don’t last. Anyone coming to business after they’ve given out their allotment of free items will receive a comparable offer at half price, which Schuster said is to thank customers for making the effort to come to the business. However, Schuster doesn’t believe it will be a frequent issue.
To track their success, participating business will be logging when customers bring in coupons.
Schuster said businesses are excited to participate, and she believes the Village will have deals to offer through the end of the year.
How to stay notified through the Village:
- Subscribe to the e-notify system for updates directly to your inbox
- The village issues print copies of its quarterly newsletter, and posts PDF files online. Press releases are also posted directly to the village's website.
- Residents can call the 24-hour information line at 630-271-4110
- Village of Lisle Facebook
- Village of Lisle Twitter
- French Market Twitter
- Green by Choice Twitter
Schuster said the Village website also underwent several changes, including the addition of pages, new photos, and the removal of outdated information “to communicate all the village offers.” Staff also updated the economic develpment portions of the site, now called "Business Opportunities," to reflect changes in available properties and population demographics.
Village staff and trustees had a discussion to clarify their social media policy in January. The conversation addressed the Village’s ability to promote commercial institutions or non-Village events on its website. Ideally, the policy allows Lisle businesses and organizations to be promoted through Village-sponsored meda.
However, questions and comments must still be directed to Village staff in person. Village trustees agreed to prohibit user participation, which mostly impacts the Village Facebook page.
“Most of the chatter that goes back and forth is nice, but you get the few that aren’t nice. Unless we have someone policing everyday it can get kind of cumbersome," said Mayor Joe Broda. “We don’t want to see it become a blog."
Check out Lisle Patch’s former picks for .