With nearly 4 in 5 active Internet users visiting social networks and blogs, social media is of growing interest and opportunity for local governments as they work to utilize new platforms for promoting transparency, enhancing engagement and fostering collaboration. As technology continues to evolve and change the way we interact, government organizations cannot rely on only one channel to communicate with citizens. It is increasingly necessary for local leaders and officials to evaluate communication strategies and utilize tools to help ensure time-sensitive information is quickly disseminated and easily available.
Not only are social media users increasing daily, but more and more citizens are turning to their social networks to obtain and share information about their surrounding community, as recent reports have published some interesting statistics:
- 82 percent of Internet users (representing 61 percent of all American adults) looked for information or completed a transaction on a government website in the twelve months preceding a Pew Internet survey.
- Followed by television and local radio, the Internet is the third most popular way for people to gather emergency information, with 18 percent of both the general and the online population specifically using Facebook for that purpose.
- Nearly a fourth (24 percent) of the general population and a third (31 percent) of the online population would use social media to let loved ones know they are safe.
- Compared to the average adult Internet user, active adult social networkers are 26 percent more likely to give their opinion on politics and current events.
To reach residents and the community more effectively, local governments should consider developingand maintaining a dynamic social media presence. Blackboard Connect, in collaboration with ICMA, has developed the Social Media and Local Government Playbook to help government leaders create and establish their social media communication plan. The Playbook provides tips, strategies, examples, and best practices to help you use social media to communicate successfully with constituents.
With the Social Media Playbook, government leaders and officials can learn:
- Social media dos and don’ts
- How local governments can benefit from using social media
- How to develop a successful social media strategy
- Best practices and innovative uses in government practice today
Visit the website to learn more about how Blackboard Connect can help you enhance your communication and outreach efforts.