Town of Fairview, a social media holdout, considers digital pitch to developers

The town of Fairview is drawing up guidelines as it prepares to wade for the first time into the world of social media.

Fairview Town Council on Tuesday delayed a vote to authorize the Fairview Economic Development Corp. to establish accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter after some council members expressed a desire to first put in place a more detailed plan for social media use. Town Manager Julie Couch said town staff would prepare such a plan before the council’s February meeting, when members could revisit the matter.

The town has avoided creating social media accounts in part because it has not had the staff to support regular posting and engagement, Couch said.

“You’ve got to have daily involvement,” Couch said.

The FEDC has recommended activating the town’s first social media accounts in order to promote the FEDC website and attract projects to the town’s commercial district, which is located between US 75 and Greenville Drive.

The proposal for the FEDC to establish a social media presence grew out of a marketing plan developed by a Denver-based firm earlier this year, according to Economic Development Manager Ray Dunlap.

“A component of that plan is a social media campaign that will be designed to engage those who are in a position to bring projects to Fairview and to drive more traffic to the new website,” Dunlap said in a statement addressed to the council.

Under the plan, the marketing firm would advise the town on social media strategy and even post occasionally from the FEDC accounts. FEDC staff would do the bulk of the posting from the accounts.

Although Councilman John Adler said establishing a social media presence as the FEDC has suggested would be the right move, he cautioned it could be mishandled without proper forethought.

“I strongly believe that we need to do it right, instead of doing it quick,” Adler said. “For me, I can’t get excited about this without having a policy and a plan [for social media use].”

The town’s first attempt at establishing social media comes at a time when the town is trying to draw more developers to its commercial district.

The town has made the commercial district's development a high priority, bookmarking $36 million over the next decade for road construction and other infrastructure investments in the district. The Village at Fairview, a large shopping center along Stacy Road that is home to Fairview Town Hall, is the primary development in the district. But much of the land to the north lies undeveloped, lacking key pieces of infrastructure outlined in the capital plan.

And with increased digital outreach, town staff hopes to remove another impediment to development.