Social media is a relatively new platform from which to communicate for most people. Real-time marketing has transformed the way we shop, eat, date and share information. Many businesses have embraced the opportunity to create 1-1 relationships with new and existing customers. As tax paying citizens, we are all customers of the US government. What can the government do to build “likes” among their customers? Consider the following 7 ideas:
1. Who are you? Every representative throughout the various government branches should have an online presence and personality for their constituents. Keep it professional, but use the social platforms to identify and connect with people. They’ll remember come re-election.
2. Get out critical information! From storm’s barreling down on the Florida coast to local Amber Alerts – be genuine in the flow of information and signify when it’s something to pay attention too.
3. Promote objectives (That’s why you’re in office). Social communication should support the organizational mission and vision of the overall elected office strategy. Social media efforts should be strategically aligned to support those objectives – whether it’s updates on education, healthcare and/or infrastructure.
4. Transparency and collaboration. You have the capacity to control the first message to your followers! Twitter and Facebook are great tools to be proactive, as opposed to reactive. Use the available social media tools to create a more coordinated effort fostering external transparency and internal collaboration. Cover all bases with all tools available including social networks, blogs, micro blogs, image tagging, user comment options and rating options.
5. Engaging the public. This new era of ‘citizen engagement’ is perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of social media in government because it touches on a true dialogue between government entities and citizens. Take advantage and truly engage on all levels, from congestion on I495 to the upcoming Redskins game.
6. Privacy and Security. Everyone is concerned. Period. The need for Open Government is a stated priority. The need to protect data is also a priority.
7. Analytics and Metrics. Get a staffer on board to study the performance analytics. With rapid innovation in big data, social and mobile, it should be more interesting than daunting. Cater your approach toward what your followers ask for and respond to. Establish baseline goals for your initiatives.
The key is not the number of followers, it’s the engaged followers. Thomas Jefferson once said that well informed people can be trusted with their government. Go inform the people – via their Smartphones.
What are your thoughts? What do you want to see the government do from a social media perspective? Stay #TopRight