Over recent years, the public sector have really started to capitalise on the opportunities that social media presents. This is no truer for local government who have continued to evolve their social media strategies to enable innovation in the sector – hats off to all the Comms and Marketing folk making this change happen! 👏
However, 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. Meaning that not only are new opportunities arising, but also new challenges that have to be overcome.
With that in mind, in today’s blog we wanted to share the campaigns and content we’re loving from 5 different councils that are going above and beyond with their social media delivery! 🏆
1. Barnsley Council
A campaign that’s familiar to a lot of our readers is likely to be anti-fly-tipping. This common unpleasant behaviour can be really difficult to change and as a result can cost local authorities significant sums to clean up and until now, social media was struggling to help tackle the problem.
However, after a court battle Barnsley Council have won the right to crush any cars found to be used in fly-tipping and their social media coverage is simply brilliant. They have kept their audiences involved and updated during the process, from initial ideas on how to tackle the problem, right through to showing their residents this new rule being enforced. Needless to say demonstrating this progress on such a public channel has helped residents to fully understand the problem and get behind the scheme.
Our enforcement team are absolutely flying at the moment... We've had a brilliant result in court this week, you could say it was a right coo...— Barnsley Council (@BarnsleyCouncil) 3 August 2018
Read owl about it on our website https://t.co/XEz64TZJC7 #EverybodyThink 🐦💩 pic.twitter.com/eo4ig3HIVm
We've delivered a crushing decision to a recent fly tipper that will make #EverybodyThink - today we crushed our first vehicle used for fly tipping... check out our Dumpit and Scarper Facebook page for the full video! https://t.co/7ycODTiMAW pic.twitter.com/oAahjU3OUQ— Barnsley Council (@BarnsleyCouncil) 14 August 2018
2. Doncaster Council
Next up, you may have already noticed but we’re a little in awe of Rob Jefferson and 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 recruitment post 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, in presenting a more human side to the brand on social media, fans and followers can more easily relate to the content and are likely to trust it more.
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 sure to register for the webinar we’re hosting with Rob Jefferson from Doncaster Council next week as he shares how they developed this unique personality and tone of voice for their brand on social media!
Got that #FridayFeeling? Us too. We've raided the stationery cupboard and taken out an extra paperclip in celebration 🤘— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) 10 August 2018
If Monday comes and you're filled with dread again, we have LOTS of vacancies on @MyDoncasterJobs right now. Go on, take a look...we won't tell your boss 🤫
3. Dorset County Council
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 that Dorset County Council have launched 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.
Cheryl is a widow who lives in #NorthDorset with her own children, Ellie and Oliver. Cheryl provides respite breaks for children with severe disabilities, and also fosters #Children on an emergency basis.— Foster In Dorset (@FosterInDorset) 31 July 2018
Find out what she says about her experience via: https://t.co/NA3FAciF6E pic.twitter.com/Fgg8azBJm2
4. Nottingham City Council
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 launching a campaign all about the restoration work done to a local park.
Again this is content that residents can get behind and encourages the sharing of memories and positive stories!
Our #Highfields Park restoration is almost complete! Here's a look at what we've been doing thanks to our @HLFEastMids funding, and what we still have to finish off! 🥰🌳#Nottingham #LoveNotts #LoveParks #threadstorytime pic.twitter.com/wORNJZ0UZS— My Nottingham (@MyNottingham) 15 August 2018
5. Carmarthenshire County Council
Last but certainly not least, we've been admiring Carmarthenshire County Council's social media campaign focused on the Cycling Tour of Britain that's being held in the county. This campaign is all about raising the profile of Carmarthenshire and engaging local people and it's certainly ticking both boxes.
With simple #hashtags and larger than life bikes built across the county, it's easy for residents to get involved by taking pictures of themselves, friends or their kids on the bikes and sharing them. Of course creating lots of great content that the Comms and Marketing team can then retweet or share.
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!
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 new 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! 🚨