What is social media and why does it matter?
Social media for municipalities in Pennsylvania is important and few have embraced social media or leveraged its full potential. In this program, public relations and social media expert, Gina Rubel presented social media to the Government Finance Officers Association of Pennsylvania.
Among the tips, Gina shared that social media posts for municipalities must be timely and relevant. As you get comfortable using social media, engage with others. This engagement will help you manage and understand what people are thinking. This includes timely responding to comments and conversations.
You don’t need to be everywhere on social media, but you do need to understand where your audience is and where they communicate.
Almost 80% of Americans use Facebook. One useful tool on Facebook is groups. Once your municipality or municipal representative joins a group on social media, you can monitor conversations. These are platforms where your municipal audience participates in conversations about issues that affect them.
For example, the majority of Facebook users are women and Facebook generates nearly 25% of municipal or township website traffic.
In addition to engaging on social media, the municipality should educate staff and elected officials regarding its social media policy.
Other statistics to note regarding social media for municipalities are that 24% of adults are using Twitter and its most popular in urban areas. Twitter is a great source if your municipality wants to connect with and follow the media.
In addition, LinkedIn is most popular with professionals. Twenty-nine percent of adults use LinkedIn. Therefore, LinkedIn can be a great tool for recruitment purposes when engaging on social media for municipalities.
Educate yourself to understand the reasons your municipality is on social media. Set goals on these platforms. And always ensure that the information your municipality is sharing on social media is relevant to the audience on each platform.