Welcome to #YEG

My name is Sandenn. I am one of the new additions to the Top Draw Inc. Team, and I couldn’t be happier about it! I’ve only been in the city, or #YEG, for a few months now. But in that short time, I have seen that even though Edmonton has a larger population than my home province (New Brunswick), it is intricately connected. A perfect example of this is the fact that the #YEG hashtag finished 2013 as the number two trend in all of Canada on Twitter.

I will be the first to admit that I am what would be considered, a Twitter amateur. With only 225 followers, @Sandenn is not even a blip on the Twitter radar. The opposite is true for #YEG. In an interview with Global News, Kirstine Stewart, Director of Twitter Canada reported, “There is just generally a really good, healthy conversation that happens around the #YEG hashtag all through the year.”

To put this in perspective, #YEG beat other topics like #RobFord, or #Duffy which dominated the national news throughout 2013. These seemingly newsworthy stories couldn’t even come close to the power of the #YEG hashtag.

The Business Side of #YEG

The part of this news that is really important for local businesses and even “would be” Twitter personalities [looks down with shame], is that although the #YEG tag is used to update traffic, weather and gripe about the Oilers, it is increasingly being used to promote local restaurants, businesses and events. So with more and more people seeing the #YEG hashtag in their social media streams, and more people seeking it out to discover hidden gems in their community, a strategic social media plan is going to become even more crucial to companies trying to manage and promote their web brand.

Here are some examples of how a variety of local businesses are utilizing the #YEG to promote their brand and business.

Underground Twitter page

The Underground – Bar and Eatery

As a lover of microbrews and great bar food, this usage was a particularly awesome find. The Underground Tap and Grill advertises all their specials via Twitter, making sure to utilize #YEG in almost every post. This helps to ensure that a Twitter search of the topics #YEG and #Beer generally will provide a list that includes The Underground and their specials. Oh no, I’m getting thirsty as I type.

Derrick Twitter Page

Derrick Dodge – Car Dealership

I don’t necessarily drive one, but as someone who now has a few months of getting stuck in Edmonton traffic under my belt, I’ve seen the Derrick Dodge Chrysler Jeep logo more times then I can imagine counting. What you may not realize, is that apart from having what I am sure is tens of thousands of mini billboards driving around the city, they also have an awesome Twitter page that utilizes the #YEG hashtag, along with its other locations (#YMM). Searching #YEG and Cars or even #Deals will inevitably bombard you with a quick digestible message about the dealership’s latest promotion.

Culture Collective Twitter Page

The Culture Collective – Events Showcase

Here is an example of an up and comer – a relatively new organization whose mission statement includes promoting local talent of #YEG. If you are anything like me and enjoy keeping your ear to the ground for the next great Indie artist, The Culture Collective should be on your radar. The best part is that a Twitter search of the terms YEG and Events, will inevitably find some ads for the awesome January 23rd show that The Collective has coming up.

The Pay-off and Future of #YEG

Hopefully  you can see the power that the #YEG hashtag can bring to your social media strategy. More and more people are using this keyword to chronicle their own thoughts, opinions and experiences. It is also becoming a second city of sorts. #YEG is becoming “online Edmonton”, where events, deals and good meals can be shared with our fellow digital citizens.

The great part is, that as a business, the encouragement and development of these hashtags can provide you with feedback, advertising, and exponential reach potential with every reply/retweet. Finally, to a young couple new to the city who find themselves a little lost in the infinite spectrum of options, a simple reply or recommendation can start a customer relationship that could last for years. Take my word for it.