New Website and Social Media Presence Expands Visit Ashland, KY’s Reach

 

Emily C. Roush

The Ashland Beacon

 

   Followers of Visit Ashland, KY have noticed an increased online presence over the past year. The organization, located in the heart of downtown Ashland at 1509 Winchester Avenue, has long promoted businesses, events, and attractions with the goal of drawing tourists as well as encouraging locals to enjoy all that the city has to offer.

   The push for greater online branding and promotion is the work of Brandy Clark, the Social Media & Website Manager for Visit Ashland, KY. The longtime Ashland resident and Boyd County High School and Pikeville College graduate has lived in Ashland since she was five years old. With a professional background in accounting, software support and management, and data analytics, Clark discovered a “love for a more creative path about four years ago when I started the social media pages for Clark’s Pump-N-Shop, which led to me creating them a new website.” This experience was profound for Clark.   “I found that sharing happenings in the convenience stores gave our company a fun personality, made the public realize the employees are real people, and bettered our overall brand.”

   In November of 2019, she was hired by Visit Ashland, KY to update their website (visitashlandky.com) and create new social media pages. The organization can now be found on Facebook and Instagram @visitashlandky. Social media has become the most important way to reach the broader public. “Social Media is the best and safest way to share Downtown Ashland with the public right now. It is the most effective way to build excitement and provide inspiration and for people who might be planning to travel to Ashland. Our Visitors Center has limited hours right now, so our social platforms also give potential visitors an additional avenue to ask questions or voice concerns.”

   Since adding the new social media accounts, especially Instagram, Clark has noticed an uptick in online engagement. “There has been a noticeable increase in engagement. Every day our page is tagged in stories or posts, our hashtag (#VisitAKY) is being used in posts by locals and visitors shared around Downtown, and we are getting requests from businesses asking how they can be featured in a post. Photos taken by locals just enjoying downtown have become some of our most popular content.   Downtown Ashland is full of insta-worthy photo ops.”

   Visit Ashland, KY’s digital overhaul has coincided with major changes within the city. “The City of Ashland is in the process of a major rebranding and revitalization project, so this was the perfect opportunity to start from scratch and give potential visitors a peek into what makes Ashland so great and let them know why they should come visit,” said Clark. She continued, “our strategy is to change the narrative for Downtown and the surrounding areas in Ashland, give Downtown a unique personality, and make it a destination people want to travel to. Give the public an opportunity to see the great food, events, people, scenery, and attractions that make up Ashland.”

   For Clark, helping to grow tourism and encouraging people to explore Ashland has become personal by allowing her to see her hometown in a new perspective. “I grew up in the area always thinking and hearing there was nothing to do and nowhere to go. It took me 40 plus years to make my way downtown, have lunch, walk around, and shop. Now I’m making it my mission to share everything Ashland has to offer and hope it doesn’t take everyone else as long as it took me to experience the destination we have right in our backyard.”

   She hopes people who follow Visit Ashland, KY’s Instagram and Facebook pages will come and see what Ashland has to offer asking them to “tag us in their posts [using] #VisitAKY and become part of the excitement happening in Downtown Ashland.”

   Clark can be reached at Visit Ashland, KY by phone at 606.329.1007, email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Facebook Messenger, or Instagram direct message.


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