When I first moved to Greenville, South Carolina, I wasn’t that impressed. Greenville had such great resources at its fingertips. Its location and urban planning made Falls Park a gem of the downtown area and there were phenomenal restaurants all within walking distance. What was the problem? It was the culture behind Greenville. People looked at this city as a town you needed to escape from. Who would really want to live in a city that shares its name with 30+ areas in the United States? Greenville saw this issue and instead of working against the commonness of the name, they decided to work with it.
The man behind the curtain with this movement is VisitGreenvilleSC. Located in the heart of downtown Greenville, they serve as a contracted firm by the Greenville Parks and Recreation Department to help market and promote tourism and economic growth in the area. One of the biggest branding promotions they have started for the city is the #yeahTHATgreenville campaign. Like noted earlier, so many areas in the United States have an area named “Greenville” which makes South Carolina’s hard to differentiate. So VisitGreenvilleSC plays on that notion and owns it.
When viewing the hashtag across social media platforms your feeds are filled with the shining gems of Greenville. From Falls Park on the Reedy to Paris Mountain to the Furman Lake and Belltower these feeds make Greenville appear to be utopia among cities. With proper urban planning, all of these attractions are easily accessible through routes like the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The key to #yeahTHATgreenville’s success is the appearance of ease. Greenvillians from all over are able to submit their own user-generated content and help promote the hashtag. Each user’s experience makes their life in Greenville seem uniquely individual and the beauty of these events happens daily.
These #yeahTHATGreenville moments happen on your commute to your office on Main Street, they happen as you are taking an afternoon walk near the Reedy Falls, these perfect marketing moments just pop up in the citizens of Greenville’s lives. The natural beauty of our city is not in its natural features, but in how easy it is to advertise as a place to spend your vacations and start a family. VisitGreenvilleSC started a great campaign that spread like wildfire that created so many interesting photos, blogs, videos, etc. These posts create a feeling of pride for the Greenville community and Southerners are so proud of their hometowns they want to share this pride with the rest of the world.
As I am finishing this blog, an article appears in my Facebook newsfeed. The New York Times posted an article about the 52 Places to Go in 2017. Even though this article was posted at the start of January, this article has shown up in my Facebook feed tens of times since it was first written. The #yeahTHATgreenville is more than just a hashtag, it is a lifestyle and an overwhelming sense of pride for the Greenville community. I begin to laugh at the thought of 30+ other Greenvilles in the world, for only one of them has my heart.
Chad Boltz – Content Creator