SEPTEMBER 1, 2009
120 SE Sixth Avenue, Suite 110
Topeka, KS 66603-3515
Goals and Objectives
Social media has two main attractions for Chamber/GO Topeka use: the ability for information to spread
virally and the opportunity to connect with those outside the office on a different, more personal, level. By
implementing a strong social media presence the Chamber and GO Topeka can further several goals:
Promote positive news about Chamber/GO Topeka happenings and counter false/negative
Engage the Topeka community in a positive, friendly way to foster relationships and help stoke the
sort of community pride attractive to incoming businesses.
Help local businesses interact with the public in a way that will help foster success and growth.
Network with developers, consultants, and site selectors to build relationships that could help bring
opportunities for new primary jobs to Topeka.
Follow the trends and conversations happening among active Topekans.
Become proactive and preemptive in spreading the word about present and future happenings with
the Chamber and GO Topeka.
The growth and popularity of social media present a unique opportunity to the Chamber/GO Topeka staff, as
it represents a shift in information control from traditional media to the general public. These goals and
objectives can be met by presenting an active and cohesive presence on the internet through consumer
generated media such as blogs, social networking sites, videos, podcasts, and other such venues to coincide
with the continued use of traditional venues.
The Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce and GO Topeka represent a broad spectrum in regard to their
potential audience—ranging from citizens and prospective citizens, to business owners and professionals, to
development consultants and site selectors. This wide variety will necessitate a flexibility in communication in
the different ways staff utilizes social media.
What makes social media different from traditional media is that the emphasis is on personal connection. It is
an opportunity to remind people that real people are putting forth the effort to make the Chamber and GO
Topeka work—people who live, work, and participate in the Topeka community like so many others. When
engaging with the public, it is an opportunity to remove perceived barriers and destroy the idea of the great
bureaucratic monolith. When networking with professionals considering Topeka to relocate, it is an
opportunity to act as an example of the sort of active, enthusiastic, industrious population that resides in the
city. In either circumstance, the emphasis is on establishing relationships.
WE CAN DO THAT
The best strategy is to ensure that all individuals involved at the Chamber and GO Topeka through traditional
and new media are creating a cohesive message to the public. By presenting a consistent, cross-channel
message, whereby each medium is contributing to—and feeding off—another, the combined effort can be
greater than the sum of its parts.
Specifically relating to social media, the focus should be on the following messages:
The Topeka community has a lot to offer its current and future residents, including quality education, a
thriving business community, a high quality of life, and bright prospects for further growth.
The Chamber and GO Topeka are dedicated to starting up, relocating, expanding, and growing
business in Topeka and Shawnee County.
Communications can also be used for promoting Chamber members, trumpeting Chamber/GO Topeka
successes, alerting people to Chamber/GO Topeka events, and establishing connections with consultants and
When possible, the WE CAN DO THAT campaign should be incorporated into social media outreach.
The following steps should be taken to implement social media as a communication tool for the Chamber/GO
Andrew Davis will conduct training for all staff members in LinkedIn and Twitter. Sessions should be
divided up according to appropriate experience in usage of social media and all staff should be
encouraged to participate. The sessions will focus on the basics of how to use the social media (if
necessary) and how the Chamber/GO Topeka plans to use them.
LinkedIn will act as a professional connection for Chamber/GO Topeka staff. Each staff member will
create and maintain a LinkedIn profile and search out groups on the network that will help them
establish connections that are beneficial to their positions. LinkedIn groups have a discussion board
feature where staff can engage other professionals in their field in conversation. Certain GO Topeka
staff can find groups pertaining to economic development, the bio industry and “green” business, the
technology industry, and other appropriate groups where they have the possibility to bring companies
to Topeka and/or build relationships within the field. Chamber staff can interact with other chambers
of commerce through groups, as well as build connections with area professionals and businesses.
We also have the opportunity to form our own groups within the LinkedIn network to help build
connections among community businesses and professionals. Those responsible for certain areas can
WE CAN DO THAT
maintain a group centered on DBE programs, area existing businesses, Chamber members, start-up
businesses, as well as any others that can be folded into the overarching theme of building a stronger
business community in Topeka and establishing the presence of the Chamber/GO Topeka on the
Twitter will provide an opportunity for Chamber/GO Topeka staff to disperse information and have it
spread virally. This tool may find more use with community interaction, but as it continues to grow
(1400%+ growth since February, 2009 and still considered to be in its beginning stages) we may find it
offers a great opportunity to connect and build relationships with those businesses and individuals
looking to come into the city.
The Chamber/GO Topeka can maintain a Twitter account, as well as a DBE account and/or a Topeka
Businesses account. More importantly, however, is that each Chamber/GO Topeka staff member
create their own Twitter page, where they can help spread news by “retweeting” the organization’s
posts, as well as adding their own unique information. People will be more likely to follow individuals
than they will a company, and it will provide each Chamber/GO Topeka staff member an opportunity
to connect with the business and professional community.
Chamber/GO Topeka staff can “tweet” about organization news, forward helpful articles found on the
Web, help area businesses spread their “tweets,” engage other Twitter users in conversation, and
receive feedback from the public. This will also help spread the word about Chamber/GO Topeka to
the local news media, who are increasingly finding stories and sources via social media such as Twitter.
The Chamber/GO Topeka will have a Facebook fan page set up and maintained by Andrew Davis to
help pass along information from the organization and help keep the public apprised of events, news,
and happenings in the community. Those Chamber/GO Topeka staff members already on Facebook
will be encouraged to become fans of the Facebook page and help publicize it. Individual Facebook
pages for staff members won’t be required, as the network’s setup doesn’t readily lend itself toward
furthering the Chamber/GO Topeka goals.
A Chamber/GO Topeka YouTube channel has already been established, and so far a few commercials
have been placed on it. This channel can be used to post more Chamber/GO Topeka-created videos to
emphasize aspects of Topeka we’d like to see promoted more: Quality of life, opportunities for
business development, showcasing education and our skilled workforce, and business profiles.
WE CAN DO THAT
Establishing a blog on the Chamber/GO Topeka Web site will help the organization more actively
promote news, information, and events with regular updates. A blog will allow for easy archiving,
categorizing, and searching of Chamber/GO Topeka news. By adding a widget that will allow readers
to quickly and easily share the stories through their own social media accounts, it will help to further
enhance the viral spreading of a unique Chamber/GO Topeka message.
The blog will be maintained and edited by Andrew Davis, though the flexibility of the blog will allow
multiple users to add information, both informational and as commentary.
A commenting policy will be drawn up and displayed on the blog, though close monitoring of the
comments will only need to be enforced if they appear to be becoming a problem.
Whenever possible, interaction between the social media will help proliferate the information and help
get people involved in multiple ways with the Chamber/GO Topeka. By organizing and unifying a
cohesive message across all channels, the message will have a greater chance of finding its way into the
public, being understood, and taking hold.
Tone & Content
It’s important that communications from Chamber/GO Topeka social media maintain a professional
tone; however, with the emphasis being placed on relationships within this particular platform, it’s also
important that each user incorporates their personality into their interactions. Content needs to be
relevant and useful for it to have an impact, but there also must be an element of entertainment in
order for it to catch a person’s attention long enough to keep them interested. This doesn’t mean every
post must contain some joke or quip, but rather that posts should sound like the individual they’re
coming from. People want to know there’s an actual person on the other end, and engaging people in a
friendly, personal manner is how social media etiquette works.
In short, you want people to come because they like you, but stay because it benefits them.
To measure the level of success in Web and social media, we can look at certain numbers as a means to
gauge our efforts:
How many fans/followers do we have?
How many @ mentions on Twitter?
WE CAN DO THAT
How many unique visitors have come to our site? How many have been routed there through
How many responses are we getting to Facebook discussion boards and blog posts?
By measuring these and other statistics like them, and by comparing the statistics to other comparable
chambers of commerce and economic development agencies, we can get some sense of public
Certain factors to gauge success won’t be measurable in numbers, as readily available, or as quick to
develop, but can likely be a better measure of how our efforts are received:
Has what we’ve said via social media shown up in the traditional media?
Have we seen or heard people discussing our social media or what we’ve said?
Do people say they heard about an event or announcement on Twitter/Facebook/YouTube?
Have we been able to decrease the amount of negative commentary being put out there about
These measuring posts, which will rely more on building relationships and paying attention to our
audience, will be more helpful in determining what types of adjustments need to be made to our social
media strategy to ensure that the message we are putting out is the most effective and consistent.
*This strategy based on the Social Media Research Report and Recommendations from MB Piland,
presented June 26, 2009.
WE CAN DO THAT