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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Does the Minnesota State Fair need social media?

The Minnesota State Fair is easily the most talked-about event in the state every year. Many of us know the fair so well that we barely need a map or daily schedule to find what we want to eat and see at the fairgrounds. And the anticipation leading up to the fair dominates the media coverage every year and lunch-time conversations focus on when we will try the newest food-on-a-stick.

Every year the state fair gets an amazing amount of free media attention. From television anchors trying to make the fair new each year to companies marketing their booths to customers, it’s hard to hide from news about the Great Minnesota Get Together. And like everyone else these days, the Minnesota State Fair has a comprehensive website, a Twitter account with 4,836 followers, a Facebook page with 148,147 fans, and a YouTube channel with numerous videos.

But with so much almost automatic attention the Minnesota State Fair gets every year, do the organizers really need to invest time into social media networking?

Of course the fair’s social media presence can’t hurt and builds on what is already a dominating media profile. But in a world where events struggle to find ways to reach their audiences, could the Minnesota State Fair be one of the few events that doesn’t need social media to succeed in 2010?

Tell us what you think: Does social media help the Minnesota State Fair attract visitors?