Monday, November 7, 2011

How Social Media Can Help Biking and Ecotourism in Columbia County WI

I am an avid bicyclist.  I wouldn't call myself rabid. I have bike commuted to Madison before, and try to ride to my office in Lodi from my house one or two days each week, but I am not consistent. I wish I had a position that would allow me to do that since I would be a lot happier overall. I am also very committed to my local community in the Scenic Lodi Valley, the Town of West Point in which I live and Columbia County. There is a passionate group of individuals in the Columbia County who are working hard to make biking and other outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, canoeing, camping and walking part of every trip into this broad community.  To that end, I have been working on a bike route mapping project that I hope will be successful in ensuring that the US Bicycle Route 30 comes into Columbia County via the Merrimac Ferry and through Lodi on its way to hook up with the Bike Path on Hwy 12 and onto Madison.

It starts with goals. 
I made my project also something of a work-related project. As a certified social media strategist, I wanted to use this as a case study on how one person could make a difference with a thorough strategy, action plan and a few social media tools.

My goals looked like this:
  1. Get US Bike Route 30 through Columbia County WI
  2. Showcase Columbia County as a bike destination in Wisconsin
  3. Make the Scenic Lodi Valley a central hub in a 50 mile radius for eco-tourism
My strategy looked like this:
  • Share stories and experiences of the people who bike in Columbia County
  • Use multiple forms of media
  • Build evangelism
  • Create amplification of all digital
And my current action plan rides like this:
  • Create a social media map for entity that manages social profiles for Lodi Silent Sports
  • Audit digital asset inventory for re-purposing
  • Develop geo tagging and keyword system for digital assets  
  • Map 10 routes for each town in Columbia County
  • Map minimum of 1 route from each town to USBS 30
  • Document each route with pictures, video, article posted online


This is an ongoing project and we have accomplished much this year.  If you do some searches for Columbia County Biking, you can judge for yourself how we are appearing in search results under blogs, images and video. I have included my presentation given at the WI Counties Association Annual meeting where I presented.

Presentation on Slideshare:

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