Launching Lompoc into the 21st century seems to be a common goal of city staff, community stakeholders, non-profit organizations, business owners, and residents alike.

The need to increase transparency and improve the lines of communication among local government and Lompoc residents has really pushed the City to step up into the world of technology. Along with the push towards improvement and modernization, the city has recently launched its official social media platforms.

These platforms include Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. While various city departments, committees and organizations have been slowly implementing social media as a part of their strategy, it has now become an official tool for use by the City to help effectively and positively communicate with our community.

Social media plays a huge role in the lives of many people. While not everyone is fond of the phenomenon, the city recognizes the impact that social media has on people’s everyday lives.

More and more, people are using Facebook as a means to connect with old friends, stay up to date with people’s lives, find out about upcoming events, and even as a way to shop online. The younger generations are exploring various social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. Whatever the platform may be, it can be used as an effective way to update the public with positive and correct information as well as promote, attract and recognize business.

The Economic Development Committee recognized the importance of the use of social media to increase publicity for their efforts and joined Facebook almost immediately following the creation of the committee in 2012.

The committee created the EDC Page in 2013 and experienced success from the forefront in relaying information about their efforts and goals to the public. More recently, there is an effort to increase “likes” by Facebook users and promote awareness of the committee through boosting posts and cross promotion.

In 2016, the City of Lompoc hired a community relations manager/public information officer, Samantha Scroggin, and has since been able to implement a social media policy for the City of Lompoc. The policy contains a set of practices and procedures that has been adopted by the city that will aid in maintenance of its social media sites. This is a huge step for Lompoc and assists in pushing the city into the 21st century. Scroggin has also been working on updating the official city website to modernize the aesthetics as well as make the website more user-friendly and much easier to navigate for residents and visitors. Stayed tuned for the website redesign and launch in the future.

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In economic development, social media is a critical tool for business promotion and attraction. The City of Lompoc Economic Development Division in particular uses social media to highlight existing businesses and share their success stories, expansion plans, or shed light upon various events that are occurring. While being careful not to promote any one specific business, the city tries to promote various industries in town for overall business retention, attraction, and recruitment.

Social media can increase customer service levels for a city, dramatically increase transparency practices with the public, as well as connect to residents on a level of interaction they are familiar with. Social media in economic development is especially helpful in promotion, marketing and attraction efforts for a city. Use of social media is becoming a normalcy for many municipalities, nonprofit organizations as well as private organizations, and the City of Lompoc’s official launch is a benchmark for forward progress for our city.

To stay updated on the EDC’s progress throughout the year like the “Lompoc Economic Development Committee” page on Facebook.

Building the Future Today is a column by the Lompoc Economic Development Committee. The column runs on the first and third Sundays of each month. To contact the committee, email Lompoc Economic Development Committee can also be liked on Facebook