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Social Media Q&A
PRESENTED BY: LUKE STOWE, CITY OF EVANSTON, IL
Should our Facebook posts differ from our Twitter tweets?
In general, yes, if you have the time.
Twitter – text, link, and hashtag focused (Headlines/Caps)
Facebook – longer posts, pictures, more comments (consider 3-4 sentences)
Crossposting using HootSuite, SproutSocial, Buffer, Measured Voice*
Best & Worst Times to Post
What might be some creative and effective methods for
expanding the audience of a Facebook page?
Like other “brand” pages – businesses, non-profit organizations, etc.
Mayor or City/County Manager Town Hall
Consider giveaway contests (gift card to Evanston business)
Organic vs Paid vs Viral (Sponsored Ads – Discover Arlington Heights)
Tips on engaging more people through social media.
Is this timely and relevant content?
Is this content from a source you would trust?
Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution?
Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?
BE USEFUL (road closures – useful?)
We have a social media presence on Facebook & Twitter.
How have other government entities used social media to be
- Community engagement
- Customer Service/311
- Driving traffic to website
- Adding subscribers to e-newsletters
- Neighborhood watch
- Future uses?
What is the focus on "hashtags?"
#SocialGov as example
GovGirl - Hashtags for Government - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1EgzhjQe_E
What do you recommend as a first step towards using social
Consider surveying your residents/citizens on preferred platforms.
Likely first step would be a Facebook or Twitter Account.
- Not on social platforms
- Get on the platform and start posting/tweeting (one way communication at minimum)
- Respond to @cityofevanston mentions (initiate two way communication)
- Pro-active monitoring of #Evanston (passive service requests)
What's the best platform to connect with older residents?
- Facebook seems to be the easiest platform for seniors to pick up. (Grandchildren)
- Fastest growing segment of Twitter users is 55-64
- Consider surveying senior centers on social media usage
Do you have a template for a Social Media Plan? Also, what
should be put in such a plan?
Review Social Media Policies
Use Mainstream References
Plan for Emergencies
How to balance professionalism with accessibility/fun, e.g.
Seattle – 600,000+ residents & 47,000+ followers on Twitter
http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/ & http://www.tellspd.com/survey3/Default.aspx
Forbes Article on Seattle PD Social Media Coordinator http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthickey/2013/08/17/the-brain-behind-seattle-polices-socialmedia-on-marijuana-twitter-and-doritos/
Do you view Instagram as an effective tool for local
We are interested in developing mobile apps, what have you
seen to be the most popular from other cities?
SeeClickFix - http://seeclickfix.com/
PublicStuff - http://www.publicstuff.com/
CitySourced - http://www.citysourced.com
Does it make more sense to have individual department
social media accounts (facebook, twitter) rather than one
Social Critical Mass
Do you have enough content to sustain existing and new accounts?
Do you have a social media coordinator for that department?
Consider staff turnover.
What kind of metrics are best for determining effectiveness
of a given social media resource?
How can you balance your presence on multiple social
media platforms and still remain relevant?
- Weigh your time, resources, and goals against “getting spread too thin”.
- Try to automate where possible.
- Empower departments where possible.
- Don’t forget other electronic communication such as email, video, and web chat.
Do you have a policy/plan on social media that details record
management requirements regarding social media?
- Evanston uses ArchiveSocial to back up our social media accounts.
- Their website has white papers, blog postings, etc.
- We rarely remove posts. Grab a screenshot before you remove.
- Evanston Blog & Social Media policy - http://www.cityofevanston.org/global/blog-commentpolicy/
ArchiveSocial - http://archivesocial.com/
Are there recommended social media policy for agencies
providing useful guidance for employees?
- Varies widely based on agency, mission, philosophy
- Millennial factor and hiring/employee retention
- May want to consult your agency legal team
How have social media tools (twitter, facebook, etc) been
used to survey department services or get the voice of the
How do we utilize our current social media tools more to
brand our City and engage with more citizens?
Discover Arlington Heights
@EvanstonEdge | facebook.com/EvanstonEconomicDevelopment | evanstonedge.com
Champion local business, Northwestern University, and Talented Residents
It seems like social media sites have a very short shelf life as
THE one to use. How can we keep up and manage these
Big Four – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
Other major platforms – YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest have “critical mass”
Inertia and social platform fatigue
Social will evolve, but is here to stay.
Would you please discuss best practices in a Public Safety,
Fire Rescue department?
Compelling videos due to nature of work - http://youtu.be/4oh8SvOD9jY
Five Alarm Tweet Along - http://www.cityofevanston.org/fire/storify/
What's your favorite tool for gathering/analyzing social media
Facebook & Twitter have improved their analytics access
What are good examples of the type of information to
present on a utility facebook page?
Behind the scenes
Meet the staff
Positive stories not just emergencies
Involving citizens in parks activities.
- Ask them to tweet pictures from events. (July 4th)
- Using social media to communicate rain delays/make up days.
- Polls: What is your favorite park? What is your favorite beach?
- Tweeting/Instagram activities from summer camp to keep parents informed.
What specific social media outlets are you currently using
and what percentage are they of your total contacts?
Facebook (4700+ Likes)
Twitter (4900 Followers)
YouTube (600 videos)
Google+ (Small, but growing)
LinkedIn (600 Followers)
Other – Email, SMS, Web Chat, 311 services
Can you create engagement on Instagram?
Use hashtags in captions and add locations
http://www.howto.gov/social-media - Instagram for Government Webinar
Help explain the constant changes in Facebook!
How much time do we have?
Time permitting – quick live demo in backend of Facebook
Luke Stowe, City of Evanston
@LukeStowe | @CityofEvanston
Helpful #SocialGov friends:
KristyFifelski (GovGirl) - @GovGirl
Katie Harbath, Facebook Government Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
Justin Herman, GSA, @JustinHerman