Webinar presenter Corey Yunke answered a number of your questions after his presentation, “Launching Your Social Media Program.” Here are a few of his responses.
Audience Question: How do you address archiving your social media postings in order to comply with public records laws? And I know a couple of folks chimed on something similar to these. Can you kind of touch on that?
Corey Yunke: Yes. I’ve done some webinars for certain agencies that do that. I think it depends, you have to push on that data privacy as far as training, that’s huge. I confer to our communications department on a lot of these things and there are some debates about whether the comments are actually something that you should archive as far as that because they do. But the challenge is somebody can post something, comment, and then delete it on their end. And once it comes to our site that we’re supposed to keep that. So, there are companies or organizations that will charge you to kind of record all of that stuff. For me, for anything that I delete or that I hide I have a folder that I keep those things. From our statute, what it kind of looks like in Minnesota, is that really important information that needs to be saved, our communications department doesn’t believe that it is, that’s not something that we need to archive, that’s kind of beyond my scope. That’s possibly even talking to your city attorney and again if you have an over-arching communications department to go for it. But there are some as far as I believe it’s Smarsh and Social Archives and a couple companies out there that do just that.
Christina (host): Outstanding, and I was just going to say the same thing when in doubt, call your city attorney. So, that’s great advice.
Corey Yunke: I should have given that just right in the beginning.
Audience Question: Can you delete vulgar or offensive comments without repercussion or do you recommend putting in a disclaimer in the post that it will be deleted?
Corey Yunke: You can. It’s generally in the social media policy. We have it in ours as far as offensive, and even irrelevant. So, if people are kind of using your platform to promote an event, we had that before, which has nothing to do with the conversation that somebody just kind of almost using yours for spam to get followers and things. There’re bots that will do that as well. Those you do not need to keep but it depends on having that policy out there so it’s crystal clear. But as far as profanity and offensive, even if it’s not cussing, if it’s lewd, yeah you can generally remove those. Again, something to check with your communications department or an attorney if you’re really upset about it but I think it’s just being public and the same thing you would do in public comments where you want to hear somebody in person, but if they’re using inflammatory language or offensive or threatening, that can get into with a little bit of what’s threatening to us. We’re called names often as far as the law enforcement and things, if it’s threatening, it’s different. So, but generally, if it’s offensive or threatening you can delete those. I still keep those into a folder.
Audience Question: How often do you post on your social media – daily, weekly, etc.? What do you feel is appropriate to keep your page “active” for posts to show up in individuals feeds.
Corey Yunke: Personally, I don’t think this is as important to LE / Government Agencies as it is to the Private Sector with selling products and remaining “first in line” in a consumers conscience. We post when we have useful, relevant information. 2-7 times per week is a good baseline, but don’t force information. Put yourselves in your varying audience’s shoes, “how much would you want to hear from your agency if you were (fill in the blank…resident, mayor, business owner, etc.)
Audience Question: Corey, you said that this wasn’t an easy sell for your command staff. What was it that finally tipped them over?
Corey Yunke: Mainly an increased comfort level after seeing other agencies getting involved and seeing that Social Media wasn’t a temporary trend or wasn’t “going away” and has the potential for increasing communications.
Audience Question: Did you negotiate limitations or requirements in order to get them to say yes?
Corey Yunke: Yes, we determined a threshold for capacity and knew that we couldn’t support a full-time social media presence.
Audience Question: Is there an approval process that you have to follow for getting posts approved?
Corey Yunke: Internal post approval? No. Outside reader posts? Yes. This is why it is so important to have a person who is accustomed to working and speaking with the public to manage social media, because that is precisely what your doing…except, your comments aren’t contained to a particular audience. Public Speakers/Engagers generally have experience with “what to say” and more importantly, “what not to say.”
Audience Question: Corey, for planning purposes, if I’m just starting out, how many hours per week do you do social media?
Corey Yunke: Again, this depends on what you’re posting. For example, posting crime prevention or seasonal trends can be pre-canned, cut, and pasted or scheduled for future posts with minimal work. Responding to a Crisis or something that is politically sensitive needs more time. This also depends on your quality to quantity. Adding those photos, linking to appropriate conversations/partners, encouraging followers to do something (attend a training, prevent crime..) may take longer, but will be more valued.
Audience Question: Corey, what’s the role of Facebook Live for some of our agencies? What are you seeing? One of our audience members says “We have thought about filming meetings/presentations and posting them on our Facebook page.”
Corey Yunke: We’ve used Facebook Live for events, mainly townhall discussions followed by a link to the recording. Facebook Live brings a lot of value and a feel of being a part of it e.g. asking questions and expressing sentiment through emojis. As an analyst, you can review the video to see at what point the remote attendees liked/disliked a response. We are hoping to use live feeds going forward to increase inclusivity.
Audience Question: Corey you mentioned LinkedIn. How do you use LinkedIn? Are you the one who posts there? Or do you see it more as an extension of HR/Training and so the FTO/HR person posts there?
Corey Yunke: I do not post there, but will if we choose to go “live” on our own account versus the City’s LinkedIn account. I would like to use it to share some of the scholarly/innovative aspects of our department (white paper research, successes, promotions, partnerships, etc.) It is also a great spot for recruitment. HR should definitely have a voice there.
Audience Question: Corey – we know that “haters are gonna hate….” But how do you deal with those haters or trolls when they post replies or post on your agency pages?
Corey Yunke: It depends. I think if the general community is at risk of being swayed through misinformation and misperception, then I may step in or encourage a press release to be drafted with the facts, policy, procedures, etc. If it is simply a jab or is an assumption (all cops are bad, your cops are bad) then I won’t waste time as the conversation isn’t specific to our department. It is easy to take all negative comments as personal attacks on yourself and your agency. I don’t think it is necessary to defend all negativity. Most readers/followers are capable of making a decision if the “hater/troll” is credible or biased.
Audience Question: How do you balance the need to inform or share important information with the fear of potentially offending someone?
Corey Yunke: This depends on the risk/reward of sharing versus offending. Generally, if you feel that a post may offend, it might just be an opportunity to reword the post or to at least adjust the tone – mildly suggesting a behavior change rather than mandating a change.
Audience Question: Where do you get your ideas for postings? Do you bucketize your ideas into types of information or types of postings? (and is there a ratio?)
Corey Yunke: Most of my posts are responsive to something that encourage an action e.g. string of burglaries = lock your doors, increased ID Thefts = talk to your older relatives about scams, storm approaching = give officers space and turn on lights, etc. I do look at what conversations are trending to see if I can relate… national pet day = picture of K9 doing something valuable (maximizing agency value rather than simply posting a cute pic of a dog). You can pre-can a few of these and it is a great job for an intern (look for communication/journalism/marketing interns rather than Criminal Justice interns).
Audience Question: How do you address archiving your social media postings in order to comply with public records laws?
Corey Yunke: My gut tells me this question was received from Archive Social OR an agency who has received a demo from Archive Social. I strongly encourage a conversation with an attorney for this question as it can vary from agency to agency. Regardless, it is good practice to keep a log, to include a screenshot, for any posts that you edit, alter, or delete with a brief description as to “why.” Some messages/posts are of short-term interest and can be considered incidental and non-vital correspondence and can be deleted after reading. Again, check with your data privacy subject matter expert and/or attorney.
Audience Question: Do you repeat tweets? Or do you retweet? What are your guidelines?
Corey Yunke: Yes. Again, re-read through the lens of your audience as to how the retweet will be perceived. We will retweet/share posts regarding traffic, public safety, joint efforts, missing persons, bolo’s from neighboring agencies, etc. Generally, you are safer to create your own post. Find a government Twitter account post with a bunch of retweets and analyze the content and gauge your comfort level.