I first arrived in the Yukon two years ago this August. Besides the lack of a fall season and actually how dry it was in this climate, the biggest shock came when I first realized how little the social media world was being tapped into when developing communication and campaign strategies. It’s not that the North was far behind everyone else in technology, that’s far from it. The purchase of Internet connection into Yukon households was just 2% under the national average, so that wasn’t it either. After a few initial client meetings and discussions with other colleagues I realized there seemed to be a lack of faith that social media and other forms of online dialogue were effective methods of reaching Yukoners.
Two years can make a huge difference. Just since I have been here I have seen our online dialogue grow as a territory, and it is not just for the purpose of sharing pictures or promoting a specific product. The Yukon Government has its own Twitter account as do specific departments, and Yukon Energy has been updating Yukoners with info through their blog entries. From toyshops to cake shops and even our very popular Yukon Brewing Company, Facebook pages continue to pop up and increase the dialogue between private businesses and our small Yukon neighborhood. The most impressive aspect is how these small Yukon businesses get it; they are approaching this tactic through continuous engagement with their audience, from giveaways and contests to constant updates on what’s new and innovative within their field.
I remember being stunned when trying to find an apartment and realizing that there was no Craig’s list, Kijiji or any online classifieds that were being used and updated. Since the fall Kijiji in the Yukon has been building momentum and with the launch of Yukono.com the online classifieds has been taken one step forward by initiating dialogue between fellow consumers and business owners. Here is a recent blog entry explaining Yukono from their creators at Subvert here in Whitehorse.
A lot can happen in two years. Our online community in the North is growing and expanding constantly. Whether you run your own business, manage an organization or are a part of the Yukon Government you have to remember that the Yukon is online and busy discussing your brand, with or without you.