Social Media for Municipal Government


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Presentation given to staff of the City of La Grange, TX on December 16, 2013 on the use of social media in municipal government.

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  • Others?Crisis communications/emergency management
  • Most comprehensive survey on the use of social media in local government. Surveyed 108 cities in the Summer of 2011.
  • Ask the strategic question: Why do we want a social media site? The answer to that question will vary from organization to organization, and department to department. Thus, what should be recommended will vary. If you decide to allow departmental pages, there should be a vetting process before letting the department go off on their own. There should be a strategy for how the social media channel should be used, a written social media policy that employees agree to, and training provided to staff that will have access to the channels. Regardless of who manages the page, each page should have a unified look with a logo, corporate branding, and/or other graphic standards. That should come from the PIO or Communications office.
  • Handout:Ways to Use Twitter
  • Handout:Ways to Use Twitter
  • Handout:Ways to Use Twitter
  • Handout:Ways to Use Twitter
  • Social Media for Municipal Government

    1. 1. Social Media for Municipal Government City of La Grange December 16, 2013
    2. 2. Get these slides here: :
    3. 3. Today We’ll Cover … • • • • • Why social media? Daily management Common social media platforms Best practices and Examples Q&A
    4. 4. Why Social Media?
    5. 5. Keep It Simple • Remember: It’s just a conversation • We can either engage in the conversation with our customer, or they will have the conversation without us. Flickr: Search Engine People Blog
    6. 6. Primary Functions of Social Media in Government • Share – inform citizens of public services and activities • Listen – observe, analyze, and understand what citizens are sharing to improve public services • Engage – respond, collaborate, and create with citizens to improve public services. Source: http: //
    7. 7. What Are Your Goals? • Provide additional channels for citizen input and other potentially affected interests • Increase the transparency of the City’s decision-making process • Facilitate a sense of community • Reach new audiences with City messages and information These are the City of Round Rock’s social media goals. What are yours?
    8. 8. Why Is Social Media Scary? Someone could say something BAD about you! Flickr: andyaldridge
    9. 9. 2011 Fels Institute Social Media Report
    10. 10. 2011 Fels Institute Social Media Report
    11. 11. Daily Management
    12. 12. Centralized vs. Departmental Management Centralized • Single page = bigger audience • Professionally managed pages/channels • Control over content/messaging • Small cities may lack resources/staff Departmental • Niche channels for niche content • Enthusiastic content experts • Central office should guide & teach – not control content • Small cities may have younger/geekier staff (due to lower pay grades)
    13. 13. Things To Consider • • • • • Records retention Legal issues/constraints Transparency Terms of use Social media policies
    14. 14. Assessing New Social Media • Clearly identify objectives • Determine a strategy for its use • “Listen” to the social media conversation for new potential channels • Realistically assess resources • Reach out to peer cities for advice
    15. 15. Common Social Media Platforms Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
    16. 16. What Is Facebook? • Social networking service that allows users to connect to friends and businesses • Share content, links, photos, and videos • Comment on others’ activity • Remember: Personal profiles are for people, not businesses. Develop a fan page instead.
    17. 17. Facebook Stats • Over 1.1 billion active users • Average user is connected to 40 pages • Smartphone mobile users check Facebook an average of 13.8 times a day • 751 million users access Facebook from a mobile device Source: IDC;
    18. 18. What Is Facebook?
    19. 19. Facebook Benefits • Low cost • Engage with fans of your page • Fans receive your updates and can upload comments, photos, and video • When fans engage you on your page, their activity shows up in their friends’ streams – This can prompt others to check out the City of La Grange pages too!
    20. 20. Facebook Benefits • Can incorporate content from other social media platforms – Ex: blog posts, updates from Twitter, pictures from Instagram, videos from YouTube, location-based apps (FourSquare), etc. • Targeted advertising opportunities (cheap too!)
    21. 21. Know Your Audience Photo: stijnbokhove
    22. 22. Facebook Insights
    23. 23. Facebook Insights
    24. 24. What Is Twitter? • Free social networking and micro-blogging site that allows users to send and read messages known as “tweets” • Tweets can have no more than 140 characters & are delivered to the author’s subscribers, known as “followers”
    25. 25. Twitter Stats • 500 million users • 60% of active users use their mobile phone to tweet • Average number of followers per Twitter user is 208 • Twitter engagement rates for brands are 17% higher on Saturdays and Sundays Source: Linchpin SEO;
    26. 26. What Is Twitter?
    27. 27. Twitter Benefits • • • • • • • Low cost Speed of feedback Potential reach of message Customer engagement/service Track what people are saying about you Create buzz around upcoming events Promote the city and other content you create
    28. 28. What Is YouTube? • Allows people to discover, watch, and share originally-created videos
    29. 29. YouTube Stats • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube every month • 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute • 6+ billion hours of video are watched each month • YouTube reaches more adults ages 18-34 than any cable network Source:
    30. 30. Best Practices and Examples
    31. 31. Have a Great Bio
    32. 32. Share Information
    33. 33. Use Cover Photos As Advertising
    34. 34. Use Hashtags
    35. 35. Be Human
    36. 36. Ask Questions
    37. 37. Be Helpful
    38. 38. Show, Don’t Tell
    39. 39. Use Local Experts
    40. 40. Try Instagram
    41. 41. Brought to you on behalf of Pedernales Electric Cooperative
    42. 42. Start Pinning
    43. 43. Resources • Social Media Policy – • Portland social media directory – • Louisville social media directory – • Social media policy database – • Fels Institute study – es/fels_promising_practices_the_rise_of_social_media_w ebsite_final.pdf
    44. 44. Can I Help? Call Me!
    45. 45. Follow Me @pagetx Sarah Page, Principal Sarah T. Page Consulting, LLC 512.914.8873