Post by: Kim Stephens
Every time I talk with public employees about social media the one complaint I hear is how limited they are in terms of resources. The first problem with limited resources is that people are unable to invest the time required into learning how to use social tools–even though they do (or might) believe they are important. I recently called a fire department to talk to their social media “coordinator.” The chief answered the phone and he said,
“That would be me. I’ve only been in this job for a month and I’ve been told I’m also the administrator of the Facebook page.” Then he added with zero enthusiasm, “Great.”
Taking on this responsibility can be daunting. I understand. This is why quite a few public sector Facebook pages look a little bit like ghost towns–especially during the summer months when the one person who actually enjoys updating the page is on leave. Help, however, is available. Facebook has produced a great resource for public employees: “Building your presence with Facebook pages: A Guide for Governments.” (Download the 10 pages here: Facebook Guide for Governments).
This attractive guide provides pictures and key points to users on exactly how to:
- Set your strategy
- Create your page
- Develop your posting plan, including:
- Finding your voice
- Creating a conversation
- Offering a rich experience
- Sharing exclusive content
- Grow your Audience
- Measure and Refine
- Resource Links (all internal Facebook links)
- Top 5 Tips (These tips, by the way, are great. I love #1 “Don’t be boring!”) the other four:
- Offer historical content
- Thank supporters and engagers
- Be timely
- Post bi-lingual content
Of course this content really only applies to the emergency management and first response community during the preparedness phase: there is no mention of what happens to social networks during a crisis. However, this is a great start for organizations looking for “how to’s”.
Take the 10-20 minutes to read this! It could help your page go from ghost town to boom town!