City of Chicago Embraces Social Media

On January 4, The City of Chicago’s Treasury Office, in partnership with Constant Contact, announced an Online Marketing Contest, focused on social media and email marketing. Small business owners can participate by entering their best social media or e-mail marketing campaign to promote their business.  The contest will feature free expert workshops, free social media building skills information, and $10,000 of value between cash prizes and free Constant Contact accounts for top winners, as reported by Chicago Now.

Chicago has already taken significant steps to integrate social media – the city’s Web page allows users to connect to a vast network of Facebook pages including Mayor Richard M. Daley’s page, the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Police Department (with almost 17,000 ‘likes’) and Chicago Public Library, to name a few. The city uses Foursquare (there are even three Chicago-themed Foursquare badges), has an official presence on Flickr and Tumblr, and has multiple YouTube channels, including the Explore Chicago Channel for the Chicago Office of Tourism.

The city has multiple Twitter feeds, offering real-time updates for everything from the Chicago Department of Transportation to the Chicago Park District to the Chicago Police.  While some are more active than others (for instance, the Chicago Bicycle Program hasn’t tweeted yet), it shows a concerted effort on the city’s part to keep its residents engaged with city goverment and services,  and updated in real time.