Government Social Media

Social Media & Government: How to manage it successfully

With over two-thirds of Australians checking social media daily, it’s no secret that social media is an important tool for the government to connect with citizens.

But when managed incorrectly it’s a lost opportunity.

We help a number of our government clients manage their digital channels. Here are five steps that will help you manage your social media successfully and add value to your digital community.

1. Determine your ideal outcomes

Without clear direction, your channels can very easily fall apart. It’s crucial when planning government social media to determine what outcomes you’d like to achieve as this will help you develop content, add value and help you achieve your ultimate goal.

Whether it’s focusing on growing the number of likes or followers, increased engagement or awareness of an offline event, you must determine your ideal outcomes from the outset.

Tip: Ensure your social media strategy aligns with your business objectives.

2. Know your audience

Once you clarify your outcome/s, it’s crucial to identify your audience and who you are attempting to reach and engage.

There are many ways to approach this. The first step, determine the individuals you want to reach so you can offer targeted value and engaging content.

This can be done through the creation of personas; fictional characters that represent your audience. (Learn how to make government personas of your own).

Knowing who you’re targeting and for what purpose will help define direction regarding content creation and the types of content they enjoy.

Tip: You can base your personas on the analytics on your social channels.

3. Understand what platforms are right for you

It’s better to manage one platform well than four platforms on averagely. While there are plenty of social media platforms to choose from, not all will be right for you.

Something we like to share with our clients is the difference between the functionality between Facebook and Twitter and how audiences behave on them.

Facebook is a valuable tool to distribute timely information directly to your audience and create a space for your community to communicate with each other. Twitter is perfect for frequent updates and engages directly with individuals in your community.

Other considerations include understanding the frequency, language and tone for each platform and whether you have the capacity to manage all requirements.

Tip: Observe competitors in your space and identify what platforms they are using successfully; no need to reinvent the wheel.

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4. Optimise your content creation

Once you know what platforms are right for you, it’s crucial to optimise your content creation so it caters to both your audience and the channel it’s being posted to.

Each social platform requires a specific type of content and this must be reflected in the content you share.

Facebook is your opportunity to showcase the ‘best of the best’ content, pieces that are fascinating and capture your audience’s attention. Whether video, image or written, this content should reflect your best effort and attempt to really wow your audience.

Twitter however requires a much higher frequency and pace. It’s important to tweet curated content, images and quotes that will capture your audience’s attention in short bursts and invite direct engagement.

Tip: When sharing video content to Facebook, rather than sharing a link, upload it organically to receive higher views and engagement.

5. Measure, evaluate, adjust

Knowing your desired outcomes, your audience, platforms and content, it’s crucial to regularly measure and evaluate performance.

Analytics allows you to tweak and adjust your content to better reflect the interests of your audience and tailor your content specifically to their needs. For example, you may find video content is received much better by your audience than visuals and copy. Taking that into consideration, explore ways to incorporate more video content.

Audiences are always evolving and changing. We recommend to our clients to measure and evaluate as an ongoing process and adjust plans accordingly.

Tip: Measurement and evaluation isn’t just auditing your content, instead it’s a way to increase performance and build a stronger community with your audience

People are the heart and soul of any organisation.  Your audience will respond to your incredible work when they can connect with the ‘real’ face of your organisation. For all government social media, keep our five steps in mind for your content creation and you will be well on your way to successfully implementing a social media strategy that engages and moves your audience to action.

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