What’s new in social media: Social media adoption by municipalities


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In the presentation, I take the audience on a road trip across the country to see examples of what small and large municipalities are doing to engage citizens and more effectively manage municipal issues.

We wrap up the presentation by exploring ideas for making it work in your community and we’ll look at the future of social media adoption by municipalities.

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  • San Diego focuses on connecting its social media community to its elected leaders – city council and mayor.
  • HUGE social media presence with city departments from across the city participating in the social media space.
  • Show that it isn’t just the largest cities in the united states that utilize social media at a municipal level. Even with minor investment, municipalities can benefit from social media.
  • Show that it isn’t just the largest cities in the united states that utilize social media at a municipal level. Even with minor investment, municipalities can benefit from social media.
  • Show that it isn’t just the largest cities in the united states that utilize social media at a municipal level. Even with minor investment, municipalities can benefit from social media.
  • Grew its presence because of its good content and an earned media blitz that communicated and demonstrated the cities commitment to the social media.
  • Focus on how Boston is using mobile social media to improve city services and serve residents.
  • Discuss the three major social media strategies – from basic to most intense engagement
  • Example of using social media for emergencies. Crowdsourcing information from people in the community to inform decision making, improve services and protect lives. Share example of the fires in San Diego – where phone lines and their website totally shut down and the only information available was what people were saying on social media (approx. 2007)
  • Talked a lot about social media at city level – switch to how elected leaders will use social media to engage their community. Talk about Cory Bookers response during the 2010 “Snowpocolypse”
  • What’s new in social media: Social media adoption by municipalities

    1. 1. What’s new in social media?<br />Social media adoption by municipalities<br />Brandon Zelasko, SE2<br />Innovations in Civic Engagement<br />Workshop: April 29, 2011<br />
    3. 3. First stop:San Diego, CAPopulation: 1.3 million<br />
    4. 4. SAN DIEGO, CA <br />Social Media Engagement -<br />San Diego uses social media to connect its citizens to many city services as well as its elected officials. <br /><ul><li>HIGHLIGHT:Builds connections with city leaders.
    5. 5. LOWLIGHT:Inconsistent management of social media presence.</li></li></ul><li>Next stop:San Francisco, CAPopulation: 800,000<br />
    6. 6. SAN FRANCISCO, CA<br />Social Media Engagement - <br />San Francisco maintains a social media presence for every major department as well as its elected officials. Also, maintains an excellent blog that addressed a broad range of topics/issues across the city.<br /><ul><li>HIGHLIGHT: Great content strategy.
    7. 7. hIGHLIGHT: Great integration.
    8. 8. Highlight: Emergency management.
    9. 9. LOWLIGHT: One-way communication.</li></li></ul><li>Next stop:Albany, ORPopulation: 48,000<br />
    10. 10. ALBANY, OR<br />Social Media Engagement -<br />Good example of how even small cities are using social media to share information with their citizens.<br /><ul><li>HIGHLIGHT: Unique in that their updates and news share cultural and entertainment items. Great following (especially for city of 48k).
    11. 11. lowlight: Level of engagement is very low. </li></li></ul><li>Next stop:Golden, COPopulation: 19,000<br />
    12. 12. GOLDEN, CO<br />Social Media Engagement -<br />SE2 worked with the City of Golden staff to help residents learn more about the Beltway expansion and provided them with opportunities to comment, ask questions and actually participate in finding a solution.<br /><ul><li>HIGHLIGHT: Mayor addressed questions submitted by residents via the website by posting video responses on YouTube. </li></li></ul><li>Next stop:Denver, COPopulation: 600,000<br />
    13. 13. DENVER, CO<br />Social Media Engagement -<br />SE2 worked with the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development to create a social media optimized website where concerned residents could learn more, ask questions and provide feedback.<br /><ul><li>HIGHLIGHT: Engaged residents who were interested in the issues but might not have been able to participate at meetings, etc.
    14. 14. HIGHLIGHT: 12x more people engaged via the website and social media that attended meetings, etc. – lowered barriers to participation.</li></li></ul><li>Next stop: St. Louis, MO Population: 991,000<br />
    15. 15. ST. LOUIS, MO<br />Social Media Engagement - <br />St. Louis launched a Citizens’ Service Bureau to address all types of resident concerns – from potholes, to animal control issues, to city alerts.<br /><ul><li>HIGHLIGHT: Constant, real-time updates.
    16. 16. HIGHLIGHT: Very dedicated to helping residents solve problems and better their city.
    17. 17. lowlight: Don’t leverage their Twitter account to share information. Only receive information and engage with those who engage them.</li></li></ul><li>Next stop: Asheville, NC Population: 83,000<br />
    18. 18. ASHEVILLE, NC<br />Social Media Engagement - <br />Relatively small town doing an EXCELLENT job of social media, highlighting public safety issues and reporting on city service outages/issues. HUGE following for town of this size.<br /><ul><li>HIGHLIGHTS. Great content. Focused.
    19. 19. LOWLIGHTS. ….</li></li></ul><li>Last stop: Boston, MAPopulation: 617,000<br />
    20. 20. BOSTON, MA<br />Social Media Engagement - <br />Boston’s leverages mobile social media to address issues across the city (e.g. graffiti, potholes). Boston has also made its city council members available to constituents via social media.<br /><ul><li> HIGHLIGHTS:Usage of mobile social media to report problems around the city.
    21. 21. lowlights. Great concept of an “open city council” but limited promotion and engagement.</li></li></ul><li>TRENDS<br />Usage & demographics<br /><ul><li>USage. Currently, 58% of all internet users are on some sort of social network
    22. 22. DEMOGRAPHICS. Still skew towards younger (under age 44) – but this is changing
    23. 23. GROWTH. Audience is projected to grow by an average of 9.4 million users a year over the next 4 years </li></li></ul><li>TRENDS<br />Usage by municipalities<br />A 2009 survey by the Fels Institute of Government found:<br /><ul><li>50%. Cities that had no official Facebook presence.
    24. 24. 16%. Cities that maintained an official Twitter presence with over 500 followers.</li></ul>Microsoft, in its 2010 presentation at the Gov 2.0 Summit, reported that of its Gov2Social users: <br /><ul><li>44% Social sites are from congressional and state representatives.
    25. 25. 29% Social sites are from cities/towns/counties.
    26. 26. 9% Social sites are from education, transportation & economic development agencies.
    27. 27. 7% Social sites are from public safety. </li></li></ul><li>STRATEGIES<br />Three major social media strategies: <br /><ul><li>OPTION 1 – MONITORING.Watching the conversation occur but maintaining no official presence in any social media space.
    28. 28. Pro: very limited resources required, at least paying attention to what is being said and what the “hot topics” are
    29. 29. Con: no ability to participate in the conversation </li></ul>EXAMPLE:<br />
    30. 30. STRATEGIES<br />Three major social media strategies: <br /><ul><li>OPtION 2 – CONTENT SYNDICATION. Pushing content out through social media channels but not dedicating staff support to engage users in a conversation, answer questions or address issues.
    31. 31. Pro: adds value to community by giving them an option to engage with municipal services through channels they already participate in
    32. 32. Con: sets expectation with users that there is someone paying attention to the conversation and available to respond</li></ul>EXAMPLE: Boulder, CO<br />
    33. 33. STRATEGIES<br />Three major social media strategies: <br /><ul><li>OPTION 3 – Engagement.Sharing content and engaging with internal/external stakeholders through social media channels.
    34. 34. Pro: serves a customer service function, added convenience for stakeholders, increases the volume of conversation, speed/efficiency
    35. 35. Con: does require much more time/resources, need to be fully committed to engaging the audience </li></li></ul><li>STRATEGIES<br />Engagement examples – Columbus “Pothole Project”<br />
    36. 36. STRATEGIES<br />Engagement examples: Boulder, Four Mile Canyon Fire (2010)<br />Images: Courtesy of Orange Insights, 2010<br />
    37. 37. STRATEGIES<br />Engagement examples: Mayor Cory Booker (Newark, NJ)<br />
    38. 38. MAKING IT WORK IN REAL LIFE<br />To establish an effective social media presence, you must…<br /><ul><li> MONITOR THE CONVERSATION. Before you being do a search to see what is being said and where it is being said. Use this information to guide your strategy.
    39. 39. SET GOALS AND TRACK. Ask the questions, “What are the goals for this engagement?” and “What are we trying to accomplish?” Your strategy needs to be developed to achieve these goals. Set a baseline and track progress.
    40. 40. USE TOOLS TO DO THE WORK. There are many tools available to do the work for you. Social media doesn’t need to be burdensome nor does it need to consume tons of resources. Let the tools do the work.
    41. 41. DEVELOP GOOD CONTENT. There is no social media strategy without a content strategy. Content is the single most important factor in a good social media presence. Content must add value to the daily lives of your residents.
    42. 42. ENGAGE.ENGAGE.ENGAGE. Your social media presence is only going to be as good as what you put into it. This isn’t a one-way channel. Social media is about COMMUNICATION. </li></li></ul><li>POSSIBILITIES<br />Where is social media going?<br />Municipalities need to think about how to do old things in a new way, to inform policy decisions and make city government more accessible to everyone.<br /><ul><li>EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SERVICES. Already seeing this (e.g. Boulder fires, Japan, Haiti, etc.), but mapping and tracking the conversation in real time is the future of social media for EMS.
    43. 43. SOCIAL MEDIA POLLS. What if we were polling citizens to inform public policy. Sure it isn’t scientific, but it allows people to have a voice and feel invested in their city government, and it informs decision making.
    44. 44. SOCIAL VIDEO. Providing “bite-size” clips of important proceedings.
    45. 45. THE “SOCIAL MEDIA TOWN HALL”. Social media creates the never-ending town hall. People can come together at any time and have discussions with their elected leaders on platforms like Facebook, forums, and even Twitter.
    46. 46. MOBILE SOCIAL MEDIA. Combining social media and mobile technology so that all citizens can contribute individually or collectively anytimeand anywhere. </li></li></ul><li>CONTACT <br />Brandon Zelasko<br />associate & interactive strategist<br />email: brandon@publicpersuasion.com<br />phone: 303-892-9100 x21 <br />twitter: @mrbrandonz<br />www.publicpersuasion.com<br />