When Social Media websites started in the early 2000s, it was just the teens that joined these as an outlet of their social circle. Fast forward to the present and what initially was used to merely connect people expanded its reach such that it enables companies and various organizations to reach out to their target audience – whether it’s on a members-only kind of set-up or it’s intended for global reach.
Using social media for public service and government agencies can be tricky. It entails a little bit more curating than a personal page. Kate Kimble is this course’s resource speaker to talk about social media and utilizing various platforms for different public service agencies.
Kate Kimble is the Public Relations Manager for Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS). Her background includes journalism, small business marketing, graphic design, and social media management. Her initiatives with the FCPS significantly increased the agency’s social media following. These enhanced the connection and cooperation between FCPS and the community.
Some of the areas Kate discussed on the webinar include:
- An overview of the various social media platforms being used for different purposes currently.
- The purpose served by social media for agencies and organizations that allows greater reach and builds brand credibility.
The various reasons to use specific social media platforms, their most notable features, and best practices to apply for each.
- Facebook as the trailblazer that changed how social media works, how to reach its massive members base by engaging followers, utilizing features like Facebook live, events and groups, and maximizing it as an avenue to tell stories.
- Twitter as the best tool to send out breaking news or trending issues and utilizing hashtags to enable its users to search for specific topics.
- Instagram as the preferred platform of the younger demographics, maximizing Instagram stories and hashtags to engage and gain followers.
- Snapchat as another popular platform targeted to the younger demographics and how to create engaging content that will be appreciated by the younger crowd using the app’s various editing tools, face- and geo-filters.
- Nextdoor as a community-based app that allows verification means to join a specific neighborhood/county/district/city and provides public service features such as law enforcement notification, urgent alerts, events, and news/updates.
- YouTube as one of the top search engines that shares video content, which can include events, news updates and body cam videos, and allows for an accessible video organization and archiving.
- LinkedIn as the best platform for recruitment and industry-related content.
- A guide on what to post or not post by considering current events, people’s sensibilities, and the agency’s own capacity to respond to feedback.
- Best practices to consider incorporating in a government agency’s social media management plan.
Kate responded to the attendees’ inquires during the Q&A related to:
- Social media content planning
- Policies to govern social media management
- Tools and guidelines for creating video content
- The best platform to utilize depending on the purpose
- Facebook pages and personal accounts
- Customizing posts depending on the platform
- Fostering relationships with private businesses
- Best practices when using social media scheduling tools