Chamber wants video of Saratoga County's top attractions
SARATOGA SPRINGS The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce is putting out a call for local residents to create videos about their favorite destinations in the county and share them on social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and Vine.
The best videos are eligible to win as much as $200 to spend in downtown Saratoga Springs and will be promoted on the county chamber’s website and social media platforms.
“It’s about getting the public involved to share their stories,” said chamber President Todd Shimkus. “We wanted to use those candid and local stories and videos to help promote the county.”
The project is an expansion of a similar venture done with the Saratoga 150 website, which promotes events commemorating the 150th anniversary of racing in the city. On the site, people can share written anecdotes about the city and its racing history.
“This is a little more broad,” Shimkus said of the chamber’s efforts.
It’s not clear how much interest there will be in the project, but Shimkus said the chamber has been surprised before, citing the thousands who got involved in the filming two years ago of a “lip dub” video to promote Saratoga Springs.
At the end of August, the lip dub will celebrate its second anniversary. It’s received more than 70,000 views since its creation.
Winners will be chosen based on how many “likes” and comments they receive. First-place winner gets a $200 Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association gift card; second place gets a $100 gift card; and the third-place winner receives a $50 gift certificate. The best videos will also be promoted by the chamber.
“We have the capability of reaching tens of thousands of people through the Internet forums we have,” Shimkus said.
The chamber has an active website, and he said its Facebook and Twitter accounts receive more traffic than other regional chambers.
“We’ve got quite a following already, and we would like to expand into other mediums,” Shimkus said. “It’s an evolution. We’re always adding more [social media platforms] … but you have to have content.”
One site on which the chamber is trying to focus is Pinterest, viewed as a good fit for the area because of the different sights.
His own social media involvement is currently limited to Twitter, but Shimkus just signed up for Instagram and Foursquare. As to whether he’ll be entering his own video, Shimkus said, “I haven’t come up with a creative idea yet, but I expect I’ll have to do something.”
One way people can share their entries is by tagging them with “#ILoveSaratoga,” which has organically become a popular way for people to highlight things they like about Saratoga on Twitter. Popular organic hashtags on Instagram include “#SaratogaSummers” and “#Saratoga2013.” Because of the Saratoga 150 celebrations this summer, “#Saratoga150” has been used to promote content on Vine, Twitter and Instagram, with more than 450 related posts just on Instagram.
To find out more about the contest, including which hashtags to use and where to post videos, go to www.ilovesaratogacounty.com. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries are due by Sept. 13.