Hollywood’s Famous Sunset Strip Goes Social
The Transition to the ‘Social’ Strip
The Sunset Strip had become a boulevard of aging businesses struggling to keep up with the changing times. Known for it’s lavish rock n roll lifestyle, the Strip had fallen from glory with the new generation and was in danger of becoming completely irrelevant. Seen as a haven of has-beens, the strip’s once vibrant community was fading fast. Mainstay businesses like Tower Records were closing, merchant turnover on the street was at an all time high and the relationship with the city of West Hollywood was almost nonexistent. The roads were crumbling and authorities patrolling the street were intolerant of the night time crowds.
The Strip had a public relations problem that was killing business and destroying the reputation of the most famous boulevard in the world. The merchants felt helpless to stop the trend and the sense of competition was fierce. Although companies operated side-by-side for twenty and even thirty years, they would often go to battle with one another instead of working together. It was every man for himself on The Strip.
MTO Co-Founder, Kyra Reed new social media tools and techniques had the power to bring the businesses together to save the strip. She led a coalition of business owners; The Roxy Theater, The Viper Room and The Comedy Store, along with the City of West Hollywood and Sunset Strip Business Improvement District to create what was to be dubbed the The Social Strip, a collection of retail stores, entertainment venues and hotels that worked together to leverage social media to bring attention back to the area.
Among the initiatives that used social media to bring the community together was the first ever Tweet Crawl, an event that garnered 100s of thousands of tweets in just a few hours. Neighbors worked with their neighbors, sharing both their content — and their customers. Soon, the businesses were helping market each other, the turnover on the street began to slow and more merchants moved in.
It didn’t take long, the street started becoming relevant again and the community rallied behind the impossible — shutting down three blocks on the boulevard for one of the largest music festivals in Los Angeles, The Sunset Strip Music Fest. The press took notice and the story of how “social media saved the Sunset Strip” was featured in stories from Paste Magazine to Entrepreneur to NPR. Today, the Strip is thriving and once again a popular destination in Los Angeles. Watch the video here.
We are on an upward swing right now. If you look down the Sunset Strip right now there is less vacancies, more businesses and the conversation has changed dramatically.
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