West Town Bikes Wins Services Of Top Chicago Social Media Firm

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Lightspan Digital, one of the leading Chicago social media firms, is helping one city nonprofit take its message of sustainable transportation to social media.

As part of Chicago Cause, a collaboration of six Chicago digital media shops, Lightspan donated three months of social media management, a $3,200 value, to West Town Bikes.

The Humboldt Park-based organization promotes social skills and educates urban youth on bicycling, but social media has been an afterthought for its small staff and volunteers.

West Town Bikes

West Town Bikes was awarded three months of social media services and training from Lightspan Digital as part of Chicago Cause.

Like it is at many small nonprofits, the task is handled intermittently by whoever has time, which means West Town’s presence on Facebook and Twitter is sporadic at best. Founder Alex Wilson said it’s simply a capacity issue.

“We’ve got employees who are very interested in being more involved with our social media profile, but we don’t know the best practices, the how-tos, and what tools to use to do it efficiently and effectively,” said Wilson, who launched West Town Bikes in 2005.

Not only does this cost them valuable opportunities to deepen their relationship with donors and volunteers, but it’s is a cheap way to inform the community of their offerings. West Town Bikes offers bicycling workshops, mechanics classes, safety programs and employment opportunities throughout the city.

An open bike workshop at West Town Bikes.

West Town Bikes offers mechanics workshops to teach people how to build and maintain bicycles to further their mission of getting more urban youth on two wheels.

“Social media is often intimidating to small businesses, and it’s doubly so for nonprofits struggling to raise funds,” said Lightspan founder Mana Ionescu, whose company helped form Chicago Cause three years ago. “But it doesn’t have to be if you match effective tools and the right approach with a powerful purpose. We’re excited to bring these to West Town Bikes.”

Through Chicago Cause, West Town Bikes will chart a new digital course. The Lightspan Digital team will help the staff at West Town Bikes expose more urban and minority youth to bicycling by teaching them to effectively tell their story through social media. For the city we love, that means more young folks exercising, and a safer city for cyclists and drivers.

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Writer and content strategist Myles Dannhausen joined Lightspan in September of 2012. The new West Town resident brings a decade of experience as a writer, reporter and editor and small business owner to Lightspan.
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