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Social Media in Public Administration


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This is a presentation on the use of "Social Media in Public Administration" as given to students on Northern Kentucky University's Master's of Public Administration program on April 10, 2014.

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Social Media in Public Administration

  1. 1. Social Media in Public Administration James Flick, MPA April 10th , 2014
  2. 2. 2 James Flick, MPA • 2010 Graduate from NKU MPA Program • Chairman of NKU MPA Alumni Association • Vice President, Research & Marketing at Cassidy Turley Commercial Real Estate • Responsible for all research, data analysis and marketing of Cincinnati and Dayton markets including: • Advertising • Public relations • Event planning • Community outreach • Marketing strategy development • Website management/SEO • Social Media Content About Me
  3. 3. 3 Social Media Timeline History of Social Communication (not to scale) 550 BC Earliest form of Mail delivery 1792 Telegraph 1890’s cinematographe 1876 Telephone 1936 First freely Programmable Computer Source:, University of North Carolina at Pembroke 1450 Gutenberg’s printing press 1844 Morse sends first telegraph 1901 Transistor radio 1974 Personal Computer 1827 photography 1877 phonograph 1971 First email sent 1991 World Wide Web Introduced 1992 Mosaic (Netscape) web browser 1978 Online Bulletin Board Systems Created 1994 Geocities Yahoo 1985 AOL 1997 Blogging AOL Instant Messenger Sixdegrees,com Blackboard 1998 Google 2003 MySpace Second Life LinkedIn 2004 Facebook Podcasts Flickr Digg 2005 YouTube 2006 Twitter 2009 Bing
  4. 4. 4 What is Social Media? • The use of social networks such as: – Blogs – Microblogging (example: Twitter) – Video Sharing – Photo Sharing – Online Bulletin/Message Boards – Wikis (collaborative Web site comprising the work of many authors) – Social Gaming – Podcasts – RSS feeds Social Media Marketing is….
  5. 5. 5 Social Media Uses • Increase Exposure to: – Personal, corporate, or agency brand – Reaching targeted audiences – Increase credibility – Build support for campaigns – Improve organic search engine search results • Expand Reach to: – Create strategic partnerships – Identify and recruit influencers – Gain intelligence – Gain information – Promote your message to many; FAST
  6. 6. 6 Trends Social Media is the fastest growing part of the Internet • Mobile technology has caused the exponential growth of social media • App use has officially overtaken PC use in America • 93% of marketers use social media for business • 70% of markets have used Facebook to successfully gain new customers • 34% of marketers have used Twitter to successfully generate leads
  7. 7. 7 Public Sector Embrace • 2004: Howard Dean successfully uses MeetUp • 2008: Then Senator Obama campaign uses social media sites with an unprecedented success rate. • 2009: During his inauguration President Obama instructs federal executive departments to “harness new technologies” Significant Public Sector Moments
  8. 8. 8 Government 2.0 • Following initial experimentation with social media gov’t IT pros labeled actions as Government 2.0 • Intended to: – Increase Participation, Transparency, and Interagency Collaboration What is it?
  9. 9. 9 Sites Used in Public Sector
  10. 10. 10 Facebook • 1.3 billion monthly users • 1 billion of the monthly users use mobile technology to access Facebook (in addition to possible PC access) • # users increased 22% from 2012-2013 • Total # of minutes spent on Facebook each month 640 million • Most popular social networking site used by government agencies
  11. 11. 11 Facebook • To be where people are • Forum for Pushing News Out • Informing and Engaging Public • Posts have potentially unlimited reach Why Use?
  12. 12. 12 Optimization of Facebook • 1-2 posts per day sharing frequency • Use “Facebook Insights” to determine the best time to post to reach your audience • Wait a minimum of 3 hours between posts • Use a call to action to prompt audience to click or comment Best Practices
  13. 13. 13 YouTube • Video sharing platform • #2 search engine on the web • More than 1 billion unique monthly visitors • 35 million searches per day on “How – To” videos • According to Nielsen – reaches more US adults 18-34 than any cable channel • 72% of marketers use video to educate views about products and services. What is it?
  14. 14. 14 YouTube • Providing background info about issues • Promotional videos for a community or organization • Other purpose-driven videos with strong content that will resonate with viewers • To integrate your video campaign with your social networks • Drive your viewers to take the next step • Provides an alternate to traditional TV coverage • Responses to events or press reports • Virtual Town Hall Meetings How is it being used?
  15. 15. 15 YouTube • Use “tags” to appropriately categorize videos for search engine optimization purposed • Organize videos into playlists Best Practices
  16. 16. 16 Twitter • Microblogging site – can only use 140 characters per message • 243 million active monthly users • Fastest growing demographic is people aged 55-64
  17. 17. 17 Twitter Components • Follow others to stay informed • Reply to posts to have conversations • Re-tweet: forward conversations • Use Hashtags (#) to categorize tweets Best Practices
  18. 18. 18 Twitter • Push out content relevant to agency or community • Spread useful links to external content or drive traffic back to website • Similar to Facebook the reach of a tweet could be limitless • Improve transparency and accountability • Can lead to increased inclusion of public opinion • Share timely information faster than traditional news outlets • Personify your brand • Build credibility and influence Why Use?
  19. 19. 19 Twitter Do’s and Don’ts • Do’s – Sound Knowledgeable – Be positive – Pose questions – Answers the questions of others – Announce news and other updates – Space tweets out throughout the day – Content variety – 1-4 tweets per hour • Don’ts – Sound too formal like a press release – Spam with constant linking to user websites or other social media sites.
  20. 20. 20 Blogging • Most blogs are text based content sharing services – Tumblr is predominately an image based blog service • Why Use? – Offer updates in less rigid way than press releases – Provide personal connection to agency/community message or content – Can use both text and visuals to provide information – Help organic search engine results
  21. 21. 21 Blog Optimization • Don’t have an overly formal tone – this is not a press release • Connect personally with content • Use a combination of text and visual elements • 1 post per week (or at least every other week) best frequency • Use “tags” to categorize content for searchability • Push out blog posts on all other social media channels Best Practices
  22. 22. 22 Time Commitment • It takes time – To maximize presence various sources agree takes 1.5 per day per social media site • Content • Responses • Staying informed • It’s at least a part time job – I personally spend (on average) 1-2 hours a day on social media To Maximize Social Media Presence
  23. 23. 23 Social Media Strategy • Time to dedicate to social media can be limited • Tools that can help (and they can be accessed for free) – Schedulers • Hootsuite • Tweetdeck – News Aggregators • The News Funnel • Feedly Tools to help
  24. 24. 24 Additional Uses of SMM • Build the presence – Facebook – Twitter – Blog – YouTube • Presence should accomplish the Government 2.0 mission: – Increase Participation – Transparency – Interagency Collaboration • Having an established presence allows for secondary uses like supporting Economic Development efforts Harnessing for Economic Development
  25. 25. 25 Economic Development with SMM • Using reliable data from local, county, or state agencies, regional economic development groups, or other organizations to target – Example: Using regional transportation data to identify distribution and logistics as target industries Target an audience
  26. 26. 26 Economic Development with SMM • Once target industry is known a list of companies needs to be compiled – Tools • Chambers of Commerce • Reference USA (assessable for free through the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Library among other places) Identifying target companies
  27. 27. 27 Economic Development with SMM • Need a catchy headline that will capture attention of the community • Logos and graphics to go along with headline Brand the Social Media Campaign Budgeting • Establish budget – Traditional marketing campaign – Web designer (if needed) – Social media expert (if needed) – Photographer/Videographer
  28. 28. 28 Economic Development with SMM • Advertising – Trade Publications • Distribution • Warehousing • Ecommerce • Logistics • Site Selection • Area Development • Direct Mailings • Trade Shows Traditional Marketing Campaign
  29. 29. 29 Economic Development with SMM • The campaign branding is added to the landing page • Discuss advantages of region for distribution and logistics • Market characteristics added to web site • The agency, government, economic development office promotes the campaign in press releases and speaking engagements throughout the community • Make sure all social media platform buttons are featured on page for ease of access and generating community growth The Web Page
  30. 30. 30 Economic Development with SMM • The community’s Facebook edited for the branded campaign. – Change cover photo • Facebook is updated with posts about market competiveness for business – If need be use a scheduler (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc.) Facebook
  31. 31. 31 Economic Development with SMM • Create/post video about the community • Link video to the agency/community web page, staff LinkedIn profiles, agency/community Facebook page, and other social media channels • A link to the video is added to all staff email signatures. YouTube
  32. 32. 32 Economic Development with SMM • Hashtags are used to find links with distribution/logistics interests • Create a specific hashtag to brand your campaign • Contacts are made with key individuals or groups that optimize distribution/logistics connections • Valuable information about doing business in community is tweeted on a periodic basis • Tweet significant data from initial research relating to distribution/logistics Twitter
  33. 33. 33 Economic Development with SMM • Use branding, headline, photos and research to write posts positioning community as hub for distribution and logistics • Highlight data points from initial research in posts • Make sure to be more informal in tone then traditional press release • Distribute posts via other social media channels Blogs
  34. 34. 34 Economic Development with SMM • Successful example of Economic Development with SSM – Charlotte lured Chiquita partially by using a Twitter war against Cincinnati This can’t work…. can it
  35. 35. 35 Measuring Effectiveness • Monitoring social analytics provides feedback on your marketing activities and brings a higher level of clarity and insight to them – social media monitoring enables an accelerated response to shifts in the marketplace – Agency/community can make adjustments Monitor Feedback
  36. 36. 36 Social Media Do’s and Don’ts • Do’s – Maintain your accounts. Update daily, if possible – Choose a consistent schedule whether that’s once per week or once a day (becomes part of your routine) – Make sure content is fresh in order to boost your agency/community rankings with search engines – Remember whom you are "talking" to. Tailor messages to audience • Facebook is more personal • Twitter is more public General Things to Remember • Don’ts – Forget to proofread content carefully – Wing it without an actual plan – Forget that email is a great marketing tool and can assist with cross promotion of eblasts with social media
  37. 37. 37 Sources of Information • Beagle, Kristy D. "Social Media Best Practices." Personal interview. 1 Apr. 2014. • Lee, Mordecai, and Ethan Lee Elser. "The Nine Commandments of Social Media in Public Administration: A Dual-Generation Perspective." PA TIMES Online. American Society for Public Administration, n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. • Mergel, Ines. Social Media in the Public Sector: A Guide to Participation, Collaboration, and Transparency in the Networked World. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2013. Print. • Mooney, Jim. Social Media Marketing for Economic Development Professionals. PDF. Washington State Department of Commerce, 05 Mar. 2012. Web. 5 Apr. 2014 • Social Media Icons. N.d. Search Pro Systems. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.