Dan Puett

Manager - Sales Support

Social Media in Government

How do you build an effective social media program for a city or county government? That question sounds a little daunting, right? Here are some thoughts that may help.
First of all, I believe that it is vital to encourage interaction, and embrace what social media is — a two-way dialog between government and constituents. Platforms like Facebook can be viewed as a communications tool to enhance local government services. Secondly, the most important key to success is coming up with an effective vetting process for who creates and updates the content that is posted. Generally, postings have something to do with promoting city programs, services and events. Staff members in charge of the accounts attached to city departments should be encouraged to communicate regularly, but not to the level of spamming.
Here are 5 tips for effective social media engagement.
1. The social media pages need to be social. In other words, let people post to your walls and encourage two-way dialog and interaction.
2. Monitor daily and post fresh content 2-4 times a week. Whether posting internal content or taking advantage of automated feeds from website content, keep your social media pages active and interesting.
3. Involve all the key players. Key decision makers and your attorney need to be involved when creating social media policies.
4. Develop policies over time. Begin with pilot programs and focus on what generates interest and responses.
5. Be patient, it takes time do develop the best approaches to disseminate information about services and pertinent facts about the organization. Some negative comments are to be expected. Respond directly and highlight the positive.
Many municipalities, school districts, counties, and states now have their own Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and YouTube channels. You should be considering social media for your organization in order to reap benefits such as:

  • Publicizing official government information and programs
  • Creating brand/service awareness and loyalty
  • Portraying a positive image
  • Providing up-to-date information about services
  • Creating a forum for discussion

No doubt there are many other tips and techniques that can prove valuable in this endeavor. Please comment with your thoughts.

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