How social media transformed a Canadian city

In three years, Regina, the capital of the province of Saskatchewan, has built the largest Facebook following of any city in the country and its Twitter account ranks in the top five. Find out how.

The Saskatchewan capital’s Facebook following is the largest in of any city in Canada—at nearly 21,000 “likes,” it’s equal to about 10 percent of the city’s 200,000-plus population. Its Twitter following, at about 8,300, ranks in the top five city accounts. On YouTube, the city has gotten more than 50,000 video views.

The city has racked up those numbers in just under three years of having a social media presence. Its success has been so stunning that officials have been asked to write about their experiences in Municipal World magazine and have spoken at national conferences for city administrators.

And the whole thing started as an experiment.

Catalysts

“In 2009 we had a civic election, and at that time we started our social media efforts as a way to raise awareness of the elections,” says Philippe Leclerc, the City of Regina’s interactive communications manager. “It was essentially an experiment. It allowed us the opportunity that, if social media didn’t work, we could just shut it down and it would be only connected with the election.”

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