10 Steps to Social Media Success

Facebook is the most popular social media platform.

What’s the fastest way to get important messages to your community? Most local government leaders know “social media” is the answer, but getting ahead of the curve on social media presents unique challenges when platforms, best practices and citizen expectations shift so quickly.

In fact, Vision’s 2016 “What’s Next in Digital Communications” survey of local government leaders revealed that virtually all respondents believe social media will have a significant impact on their organizations by 2020; yet, less than half (42%) feel their current social media presence is “highly effective.”

“More than ever, it’s vitally important for local government agencies to know their citizens,” said Ashley Fruechting, Vision’s senior director of strategic initiatives. “Learning what information they care about, how they want to receive it and how they want to communicate are critical to effective governing.”

Vision’s 10-step plan, developed with input from hundreds of local government leaders across North America who shared tips, tricks and best practices, includes:

  1. Define strategy and goals
  2. Target one or two social media platforms
  3. Identify key owner and accounts
  4. Start posting on a regular basis
  5. Add links everywhere
  6. Build campaigns with multiple touchpoints
  7. Work with local celebrities and influencers
  8. Promote posts strategically
  9. Review analytics and make adjustments
  10. Try something new

“Creating an engaging social media presence requires experimentation,” Fruechting said. “There’s no one size fits all approach in terms of platform or message style. The most successful local leaders take a step back and think about what they’re trying to accomplish with social media. Who are they trying to reach, what do they want them to know or do, and why is it important? Then they measure their results – from counting  “likes” and “shares” to tracking drops in phone calls, complaints or town hall foot traffic – and adjust as needed.”

Local government leaders like San Angelo, Texas, make social media management a priority.

“The City had 10 Facebook pages when I first started working there,” Wilson said. “Every city department wanted to have their own. We realized we were doing ourselves a disservice by creating niches of special interest so we consolidated them into one main Facebook page. San Angelo now has one of the largest followings of any municipality in the state of Texas.”

You May Also Like