By Brigette Flood

There is a bit of irony about a social media article in a printed newspaper. Although Atlanta INtown has an excellent mobile version and has nearly 13,000 followers on Twitter (@ATLINtownPaper), the majority of its content can be found in the paper you’re holding in your hands. Why? Because it’s locally-focused. Meant to be found, read and enjoyed at locations all over the city.

Why is an under-explored concept in social media. Even though the social sphere is changing rapidly, or maybe because it’s changing rapidly, many businesses and organizations see the need to jump in without exploring why beyond answers like “because Facebook has 750 million users so my information needs to be there, too.” Really they should be answering why. Why it’s good for customers and for the business.

There are some local standouts. Here’s my short list of favorite local businesses and organizations using social. A quick glance with an eye to why and providing Twitter handles for each. Find them on Facebook, too. Keep in mind that not only do they have a good social presence, each offers a uniquely awesome product or service. That’s something no amount of Twittering will change.

Atlanta Street Food Coalition and King of Pops (@ATLStreetFood, @theKingofPops) – Why? Location, location, location. It’s all about where they are and what they’re serving, with these mobile businesses. Only takes a quick look at Facebook and Twitter to see what’s for lunch and if they’re in the hood. Plus, Atlanta Street Food comes with a side of advocacy, promoting a single mission of tasty food cart and trucks to make meals more local by the day.

The Plaza (@plazaatlanta) – The oldest, hippest movie house in town has become a non-profit. So besides finding their latest indie events, movie listings and specials you can find volunteer opportunities and other ways to help keep The Plaza alive and kicking as the best local movie theater around.

Scoutmob and Half Off Depot (@scoutmob, @halfoffdepot) – Local deals.  By the day and by the hour. Why? Customer engagement, both to and from the community. Why check a website when you can easily see the latest offering in your news stream or Twitter feed? They both have an app for that too.

Who are your local favorites? Let me know @brigflood using the hashtag #LocalBest and we’ll include the results in a future column.



Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.