charlottesville social media

Community Conversations: The Face of Charlottesville Tomorrow

By Communications

This post is part of a series, “Community Conversations” featuring people responsible for the socialization and communications for their businesses. If you’re interested in contributing a post for this series, contact me at mjaggers at jaggerscommunications dot com

My name is Jennifer Marley, and I’m the Community Engagement Coordinator for Charlottesville Tomorrow.

Charlottesville Tomorrow is a non-profit, non-partisan community news platform. We cover growth, development, and local political issues facing the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. These stories are published to our site and, through a ground-breaking partnership, printed in The Daily Progress; but after that, what happens to them? That’s where I come in.

I take the content, boil it down so I can understand it (as a newbie to this community, sometimes that takes a while!), then broadcast it to our community in ways that are specific to the issue, the audience, and our strategy. For example, I may take a story that we publish to our site and share it on Twitter by posing a question; post it to Facebook and tag a group that is involved; print up doorhangers and canvas a neighborhood that is affected; and make it the subject of our monthly-ish News n’Brews events. Each tool we use has specific strengths and weaknesses, and so we try to use them to maximize their strengths. I strive for specificity and strategy with everything I share.

One of the most fun parts of my job is sharing who we are. When I was first hired, I launched a reader survey to take a general temperature check on how our community perceived us. Something I heard over and over from readers was that they were interested in the people behind Charlottesville Tomorrow – which makes perfect sense to me. We’re a small community, and while it would be nice to think we can hide behind all our fun tech toys and just broadcast content, people want to connect with other people. For some readers, making that personal connection might be a gateway to our content. So I encourage our reporters to share stories they’ve written across their own social networks; I work on getting them in front of our community at events and as speakers; and we have fun sharing what’s happening around the office across our social media platforms.

We believe this area is special and we cover what we cover because we want it to stay that way. Finding ways to make that content affect people personally is important, and that’s what I work towards every day!

Connect with Jennifer and Charlottesville Tomorrow on Twitter



12 Reasons to Register for BlogVille, the Central Virginia Blog and Social Media Conference

By Social Media

I’m getting pretty excited about BlogVille, Central Virginia’s first comprehensive blogging and social media conference. I’ve been to other social media conferences; in Florida, Missouri, New York and Chicago, so it’s nice to have one right here in my backyard.

I have to mention: I’m speaking at this event — providing a session on social media specifically for beginners.

If you’re thinking about blocking out the time and making the investment to learn more about social media and blogging, here are 12 reasons to help you make up your mind to register today.

  1. Denise Stewart is a wellness coach, a writer and an actress. (She also happens to be married to my friend Lance). Denise is the motivating force behind many women I know in Charlottesville, helping them to eat better, get active and live a more healthy lifestyle. Denise will be kicking off BlogVille and I think we can all expect to be inspired and motivated by her enthusiastic spirit.
  2. Renee Revetta is smart, gorgeous and really, really likable. As senior marketing specialist for Search Mojo, Renee will be de-constructing the mysteries behind Google Analytics and search engine optimization. No matter how much you think you know on this topic, you’re sure to learn more.
  3. Struggling with setting up or managing a WordPress blog? David Moody‘s your guy, and he’ll be workshopping with BlogVille participants to help them get going with WordPress.
  4. My buddy Steinar Knutsen is always on hand when social media is afoot. Steinar will be helping bloggers figure out how to make blogging a profitable venture, something he’s mastered in his own career.
  5. Billy Hunt is just all kinds of awesome — he’s a very talented photographer and videographer and we’re lucky enough to have him share his talents with the BlogVille attendees, leading us in a session devoted to video.
  6. Our keynote speaker is a personal friend, someone I deeply admire and who inspires me — Christine Holbaum is flying in from her home in Germany to share with us the Power of Slow.
  7. Rev. Claire Goodman has mastered the art of wedding blogging and will be speaking along with Steinar Knutsen about the business and monetary advantages she’s discovered through blogging.
  8. Dr. Dolly Garnecki is a seasoned blogger; she’ll be sharing best practices for conference attendees who are brand-new to the blogosphere.
  9. Sales and Marketing director for V-meals, Molly Fulton will bring tremendous value to BlogVillians — Molly will share her secrets for maintaining an online footprint with the minimum amount of time.
  10. Fellow pie enthusiast, Mollie Cox Bryan will be focusing on helping bloggers find their passions and stay inspired through writing (I’m looking forward to this one!)
  11. Photographer Elisa Bricker will help attendees create visually beautiful blogs, using photography and photo editing tools.
  12. Last but not least, yours truly, I, Marijean Jaggers, will be bringing it all together for you, demonstrating how to pull together an integrated, strategic social media presence.

I hope to see you there — it’s going to be a great event.



Charlottesville Car Dealerships and Social Media: A Study of Four Automotive Brands

By Social Media

In the last few years I’ve noticed an uptick in the number of local car dealerships ending their television commercials with “Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.”

I became curious about what the local social media scene among the automotive brands really looks like and decided to conduct a small independent study.

  1. Price Kia is the first dealership that appears in a Google search that has an evident social media presence on its home page. The Kia dealership’s Facebook Page has 248 “likes,” 30 photos and four videos but  not a lot of engagement or customer interaction.
  2. Brown Automotive is the second leader in the Google search, and has a Facebook Page with only 141 “likes;” surprising because this dealership is so engaged in the local community. Twitter is where this dealership really stands out and that is largely due to www.twitter.com/brownautogal What really makes Brown’s social media engagement successful is that Brown Automotive’s Twitter presence has a face and a voice — and these belong to Jamie Schwartz, aka Brown Auto Gal.
  3. Jamie SchwartzFlow Volkswagen Charlottesville only offers a Facebook page for customer engagement. The page has only 50 “likes,” but offers good content, helpful tips and reminders. With such great content, it’s too bad that Flow Volkswagen isn’t living up to its social media potential.
  4. BMW of Charlottesville earns points for having Facebook and Twitter badges on its website home page, making it clear to their community where to engage. BMW’s Facebook page is active so it’s surprising that it has only 30 “likes.” The dealership also has a Twitter account, but they seem to be a bit confused about it — the account is http://twitter.com/bmwcharlville but the bio lists it as BMWCharville:


The Twitter account needs some help. A keyword-rich bio should be added and it should be evident who the person is behind the account. There are thousands of engaged Twitter users in our community – and yet BMW of Charlottesville is only following 12.

There is definitely some untapped potential for social media engagement in the car sales arena in Charlottesville. I see plenty of people in our community tweeting and posting on Facebook about a need for a new car, recommendations for where to get a car fixed or the next car they should purchase. With such a competitive marketplace, these dealerships should take a hard look at how they can pull ahead of the others with some simple social media strategy.