Managing social media profiles for municipalities
In the second part of a six-part video series, Gina Rubel highlights the importance of social media management and understanding the benefits, risks, pitfalls, liabilities, protocols, and best practices for engaging on social media for municipalities. She breaks down the management of social media profiles for municipalities into a five-step strategy.
- Determine your goals
Review the municipalities’ business goals and determine if they can be supported through social media engagement. Communication creates trust and if you can’t communicate, people will think you have something to hide. It is also crucial to understand and differentiate between business and social goals.
- Conduct a social audit
Conduct a social media audit in order to determine the target audience, engaged audience, protocol and budget needed for social media. It’s important to know the audience and who is engaging, or interacting, with the municipality.
- Develop a content strategy
Develop a content strategy to determine the content the municipality should share. Then determine which social networks will reach your target audience. Create social media posts that will engage the audience and meet your goals. It’s important to research how and when your audience engages on social media. Understanding when your target audience is likely to engage and how to communicate with them is important when municipalities engage on social media.
- Implement tactics
The municipality should implement tactics, such as creating an editorial calendar to schedule, track and edit posts. Except for immediate, or “evergreen” content, editorial calendar content can be scheduled in advance. Tools such as Co-Schedule and Hootsuite can be utilized to schedule social media content for municipalities.It’s also important to remember that visuals are important to online success. Social media with images and videos get 94% more views than social media without visuals. In addition, using hashtags (#) allows the user to search anything relevant to the hashtag.
- Monitor, track and adjust
Monitor, track and adjust the municipalities’ messaging. This will allow the municipality to determine whether or not the audience is engaging and to adjust messages and timing accordingly. Use relevant tools and apps to track engagement, and refine plans based on the data results to focus on what is working best. Once you find what works best in your social media engagement, repeat it.
Social media is one of the best ways to share, educate and inform the audience on topics or issues that are relevant to the municipality, and can even influence what’s happening in the community.