Recently, the public sector have really started to capitalise on the opportunities to that social media presents. This is no truer for local government who have continued to evolve their social media strategies — hats off to all the comms and marketing folks that are making this change happen! 👏
While lots of progress has been made, social media is still a constantly moving beast and with it your residents’ expectations continue to change too. Not only are new opportunities arising, but also new challenges that have to be overcome.
Today, we’re showcasing 5 different councils that are going above and beyond with their social media delivery! 🏆
Update Your Residents
As the COVID pandemic wears on, councils are stepping up to support their residents, so it's important to share these messages about council schemes on your social media.
Barnsley Council regularly share updates and information about their financial help that is available to their residents. At a time when we're all struggling in some form or another, it's great to know that help and support is out there — and social media is the perfect place to get the message out to the right people.
If you, or someone you know, has been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, our Local Welfare Assistance scheme could help through support with living costs, rent arrears or bills, for example.— Barnsley Council (@BarnsleyCouncil) September 27, 2020
Go to https://t.co/6pbxUW7eFM for more about the help available for residents. pic.twitter.com/zu03Ue9Drx
Develop a Brand Voice
Next up, you may have already noticed but we’re a little in awe of the team at Doncaster Council... 🙌 They’ve shown that not only can professional social media accounts have personality, but that this tone of voice has a tangible impact on engagement rates and success in conveying important messages.
This poll is a prime example of the humour that Doncaster Council expertly weave into their messages to keep their social media accounts fun and interesting. Although this might not seem like an important element to consider in your social media strategy, presenting a more human side to your brand on social media means that fans and followers will relate to you and your organisation.
We also know that Facebook and Twitter will show content that gets more engagement to more of your fans and followers so creating content that is super shareable like this will help to spread the word about your initiatives!
If you haven’t already, be check out our webinar with Rob Jefferson from Doncaster Council as he shares how they developed this unique personality and tone of voice for their brand on social media!
To give everyone some Tuesday morning happiness, we've raided our council photo archive. We now present you with a VERY difficult choice.— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) September 29, 2020
Would you rather see a photo of:
A happy man playing lawn bowls
A hedgehog from 2010
Promote Community Campaigns
Once again, finding enough foster carers to support vulnerable children is a challenge most local authorities continue to face and creating new social media campaigns that can alleviate this problem is very difficult.
However, the recent campaign from Dudley County Council caught our eye because it's focused on sharing the stories of real foster parents and real children who have experienced the fostering process. These authentic insights are powerful in two ways:
1. They showcase how fostering can become a normal part of family life and be a really positive experience which is likely to ease initial concerns that some individuals considering fostering may have. Whilst for those who knew nothing about fostering before, this is an approachable piece of content to start their education on the topic.
2. These stories evoke an emotional response. As humans we're highly emotional and as Hel Reynolds' noted in our webinar - social media content that can make you feel something, whether that be pride, joy, nostalgia or even sadness is likely to be more memorable and effective than that which shies away.
Share Your Wins
A lot of the concern about social media accounts posing a risk to reputation are likely to come from the fact that if not managed properly, they can turn into very negative spaces. This is particularly true for local government because social media accounts can become a font for complaints about potholes, bin collections and other common offenders.
This is an unfair portrayal of the work that councils do to ensure that local communities are as supported and maintained as possible. So in order to set the story straight it's so important that council social media accounts raise awareness of local successes, problems solved and improvements made.
Nottingham City Council do this brilliantly by creating lots of content celebrating Nottingham and particularly the work all at the council are doing to continue to drive the area forward. In this case, announcing the new works to begin on the Island Quarter, as their biggest regeneration scheme in decades. 🙌
Work is set to begin on The Island Quarter, Nottingham's biggest regeneration scheme for decades, after planning consent was granted by the City Council for the first phase due to start in November. https://t.co/BWCx9P8Fa9 pic.twitter.com/trJQ10M9T2— 🌈My Nottingham (@MyNottingham) September 24, 2020
Highlight Your Local Area
Last but certainly not least, we've been admiring Wolverhampton Council's social media content focused on the cycling events that will be held in the city as part of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022. This content is all about raising the profile of Wolverhampton and engaging local people and it's certainly ticking both boxes.
If you also have a sporting event or other county-wide event taking place consider what you can do on social and in your county to create maximum engagement and involvement!
🚴🏅🚴♂️ Once upon a time, Wolverhampton was home to a staggering 150 bicycle manufacturers and was also the birthplace of mass-start cycling in the UK? How apt to remember our cycling heritage on a day like today #Birmingham2022 pic.twitter.com/q5ehfxpZSk— Wolves Council (@WolvesCouncil) September 29, 2020
So, those were our top 5 picks for this list, but there's lots of other local authorities doing some fantastic work on social media and we'd love to hear which councils you think really stand out! Let us know @CrowdControlHQ 📣
🚨 To see more examples of great content and learn about opportunities for social media in local government, from resident engagement and customer service, delivering cost saving and increasing revenue generation, to reputation management and crisis communications - Download our free guide today! 🚨