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Social Media for Municipalities


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Social media strategy, tactics and policy recommendations for local governments

Published in: Technology
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Social Media for Municipalities

  1. 1. Social Media: Strategies & Tactics for Municipalities Heather Whaling [email_address]
  2. 2. vending machine metaphor courtesy of Tim O’Reilly Photo credit: WordRidden
  3. 3. Communication Evolution Photo credit: gothopotam Photo credit: laffy4k
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ About 30 citizens became &quot;fans&quot; of Mitchellville, allowing them to see news from the town. Then trouble started. One grumbling resident used the page to post complaints. [The admin] had a hard time keeping up with who was joining the conversation and moderating the comments. The page became a free-for-all, and more irritation than [he] thought it was worth. He deleted it altogether.” </li></ul><ul><li>-- Governing, January 2010 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Dialogue Requires 2-Way Photo credit: Roland One-way communication isn’t as effective as two-way communication
  6. 6. Source: Forrester Research
  7. 7. Government Goes Social <ul><li>50% of cities have no “official” Facebook presence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 in 7 had at least 1 department with a page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 13 cities had 500+ fans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>66% of cities have a Twitter presence </li></ul>Source: Fels Institute of Government
  8. 8. <ul><li>more positive impression of the company/brand </li></ul>Online Interactions Shift Attitudes 74% 72% stronger connection to a company/brand Source: eMarketer
  9. 9. What are we talking about? <ul><li>Social media isn’t: </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional marketing “digitized” </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcasting </li></ul><ul><li>A quick fix </li></ul><ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><li>Stand alone </li></ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Social media is: </li></ul><ul><li>Insightful </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic </li></ul><ul><li>Valuable … when done correctly </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Service-oriented </li></ul>
  10. 10. What’s That Mean? <ul><li>Interactive vs. Authoritative </li></ul><ul><li>Personal vs. Institutional </li></ul><ul><li>“ Narrowcast” vs. Broadcast </li></ul>
  11. 11. Defining Opportunities <ul><li>What motivates public involvement NOW? </li></ul><ul><li>How can online communication support and build on that? </li></ul><ul><li>Other opportunities to increase efficiency & collaboration? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Photo credit: nakrnsm
  13. 13. Should we incorporate social media?
  14. 15.
  15. 17. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, @corybooker
  16. 18. Richmond Police Facebook, @RichmondPolice
  17. 19. Before Jumping In … <ul><li>What happens if someone says something negative? </li></ul><ul><li>What about sunshine laws and access to information? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we need a social media policy? </li></ul>
  18. 20. Social Media Policies <ul><li>Always be transparent: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify yourself and who you work for. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t “plant” comments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be careful with “ghostwriting.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand what’s private and what’s public. </li></ul><ul><li>Be yourself … not a “mouthpiece.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People may assume you’re speaking on behalf of the government, even when you’re speaking as an individual. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stick to your area of expertise. </li></ul>
  19. 21. Policy Suggestions (cont.) <ul><li>Respond. Answer questions. Show appreciation. </li></ul><ul><li>Welcome feedback and suggestions. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid commenting on legal matters and litigation. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid participating in a “crisis situation.” </li></ul><ul><li>Disagreement is ok, as long as it’s respectable. If it’s becoming heated, don’t disengage abruptly. It’s ok to ask for help. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from your mistakes. </li></ul>
  20. 22. Moderation Guidelines <ul><li>Pre-moderation -- user name, email address and moderation to avoid spam </li></ul><ul><li>”The good, the bad, and the ugly” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive or negative content in context of the conversation will be approved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ugly, offensive, denigrating, out-of-context content will be rejected </li></ul></ul>
  21. 23. Photo Credit: First Monday, Orlando Chamber of Commerce
  22. 24. Be Strategic <ul><li>Step 1: Identify goals & purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2: Create SMART objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: Research and listen </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4: Develop a network </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5: Integrate online and offline </li></ul><ul><li>Step 6: Measure ROI and ROE </li></ul>
  23. 25. Step 1: Identify Goals & Purpose <ul><li>Provide stakeholders with access to data </li></ul><ul><li>Increase transparency & accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Create a stronger dialogue with constituents </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen citizen participation </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Others?? </li></ul>
  24. 26. Step 2: Create Measurable Objectives <ul><li>S pecific </li></ul><ul><li>M easurable </li></ul><ul><li>A ttainable </li></ul><ul><li>R ealistic </li></ul><ul><li>T ime-sensitive </li></ul>Photo credit: Knickerstwist
  25. 27. Step 3: Research and Listen <ul><li>Who are you trying to reach? How are they using social media? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are people saying? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are they saying it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free online monitoring tools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Alerts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Netvibes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hootesuite, Tweetdeck </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nielsen’s BlogPulse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alerian SM2, Filtrbox </li></ul></ul>“ If you’re always talking, you’re not listening.” – Chris Brogan
  26. 28. Step 4: Develop a Network <ul><li>Choose the right tools </li></ul><ul><li>Start interacting </li></ul><ul><li>Create interesting content </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate influencers </li></ul><ul><li>Promote others </li></ul><ul><li>Be creative </li></ul><ul><li>Share, share, share </li></ul>
  27. 29. Step 5: Integrate Online and Offline <ul><li>Cross-promote content </li></ul><ul><li>Balance traditional communication </li></ul><ul><li>and social media </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance media relations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk to reporters on social networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HARO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use offline tools to drive online efforts … </li></ul><ul><li>and visa versa </li></ul>
  28. 30. Step 6: Measure <ul><li>Return on Insight </li></ul><ul><li>Return on Engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter followers, lists, retweets and link open-rates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog comments, traffic, inbound links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook fans, wall posts and comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube ratings, embeds on other sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Event registrations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Measuring influence requires research </li></ul>
  29. 31. Trends Mobile Photo credit: ilamont Video
  30. 32. Trends (cont.) Content Aggregation
  31. 33. More Info <ul><li>Slides & links: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  32. 34. <ul><li>“ Planning without action is futile, </li></ul><ul><li>action without planning is fatal.” </li></ul>Heather Whaling [email_address]