Is Social Media a Part of Your Agency’s Communication Strategy?

tree-1148032_1920#GetInvolved. #CommunityAffairs. #ILoveMyCity.

Are these hashtags a part of your strategy?

Big and small, many cities and communities are upping their communication strategy with social media. It’s in real time, it’s engaging, and for the most part, it’s free! In fact, communities can reach thousands of their constituents in just moments.

While some cities have been quick to adopt this new method of communication, some have been more hesitant. That’s because adopting social media means you no longer control the communication, but let the constituents drive it with their thoughts, comments and concerns.

But creating a social strategy doesn’t have to be completely scary. In fact, there are several ways to engage in social media in a pragmatic, and methodical way.

How To Adopt a Social Media Strategy That’s Not Scary

1. Choose wisely. The first step to effective social media management in a community platform is to carefully and methodically select which platforms are best for your agency or city. You don’t have to be a whiz at Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. To get started, select one to two platforms you are comfortable with and feel are the best fit for your agency. You can always adopt more platforms as you become more comfortable with the medium.

2. Participate in your online community. You cannot control the conversations online, but you can participate and create suggestions for content. Don’t wait until someone has a complaint about your agency; instead, guide the conversation in a positive way by asking your followers how you can better serve them. If you remain proactive and positive, generally your community will follow suit.

3. Find a mentor community. If you are just starting to get involved in social media, don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, find fellow cities, municipalities and agencies that are doing it will and study them like crazy! You can learn a lot with a good example.

4. Listen to your community. The same issues, ideas, comments, and suggestions that are heard in your office will resonate with your online community. Share those stories, comments, issues and ideas online to keep your audience engaged. If you still are lacking for content ideas, don’t be afraid to ask your online community what kind of posts they would like to see. You will be pleasantly surprised how willing they are to engage!

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