I find the ongoing evolution of social media incredibly exciting- especially in engaging with those hard to reach parts of the community. Public Sector organisations have at their disposal a clear, direct tool of engagement that sits very comfortably alongside customer service and sales whilst being wholly measurable to boot. What more could we as marketing and communications professionals ask for?
Although I have recently observed some interesting trends and popular myths emerging.
It is clear that accountability is at the heart of all public sector activity and this means that communications can be particularly complex and challenging for the teams responsible. Whilst the sector is actively engaging with social media using Twitter and Facebook to deliver localism and engage with groups that have been traditionally harder to get at, there is still some concern around risk.
I'm not surprised to regularly hear the phrase ‘social media cannot be controlled'. This is particularly significant considering how social media delivery has become devolved across multiple teams and regions as its uptake increases. Thankfully, it is just that, a perception. With the right tools social media can easily be controlled and managed. In fact, in many instances some elements of risk can be completely eliminated.
I've heard horror stories about organisations losing control of their pages to a rogue employee or disgruntled customer but in reality this potentially costly inconvenience doesn't need to happen. By running all accounts from one central dashboard and utilising tiered access permissions you can engage effectively and strategically from multiple locations and ensure ownership and control is retained.
Public sector organisations can protect its users from the risk of abuse in open channel communication using moderation tools, which will in turn minimize the chances of reputational damage. Any government organisation with the public at the heart of its mandate needs to listen and engage. Social media provides the opportunity to do this in a more transparent and inclusive way than ever before
Joy Stefanicki, CrowdControlHQ