Social Media. To say that it is important would be an understatement. In fact, social media may have led you to this very post. Just about every business has had success utilizing these channels and municipalities are no exception. Local governments can take advantage of social in many ways – providing new services, communicating with citizens and receiving feedback.
If your team is not utilizing social media yet, now is the time – especially since there is so much for you to do! Let’s take a look at some of the best ways that municipalities can inform their community.
Social media is the perfect platform to promote anything and everything that has to do with your community – whether it be sharing a video of a local event or the development of a new building. Let your citizens see their tax dollars put to good use by doing a virtual tour of facilities or perhaps an educational video on issues impacting them. The opportunities are endless for small and large municipalities alike.
What else can you post? Consider the following:
- Extreme weather updates
- Crime prevention alerts
- Townhall meetings
- Construction updates
For local governments, social media is by far one of the best ways to connect with residents and be seen as the ‘center’ of the community. When citizens connect to your social media, they connect to the rest of the town. Share public announcements, advertise local activities, and foster conversations for the best results. The Facebook feedback functionality is not just for the private sector. Public organizations can benefit from receiving ratings and recommendations to highlight the community’s positives and generate interest.
One of the most important aspects of starting a social media plan is creating policies. Determining what media to use and who is liable for managing it is a great place to start. Particularly important for municipalities is complying with current public records policies, especially where a post may pertain to official government business. Also include guidelines for employees managing social media. With what voice should the team communicate? How should they respond to comments and messages?
When your team has a clear plan of what to post and share, it’s time to think about managing all of the platforms you want to use. Several integration applications help organizations publish, monitor, and analyze performance all in one place. For example, Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer – to name a few. Many platforms will include a calendar, analytics, and the ability to schedule posts to multiple platforms. Instead of logging into and posting on each platform individually, centralizing everything brings ease to an otherwise time-consuming situation.
Whether first starting or several years in, it can be difficult to maintain creativity and manage social media efficiently. Take these four steps into consideration to reach your citizens in a meaningful and engaging way without the hassle of managing it.