Social media has proved to be an effective platform for many government agencies. Organizations can implement social marketing strategies to find and engage target audiences with tailored messaging, and share information about upcoming important events. More specifically, for government agencies, social media has presented an opportunity to focus their efforts on educating and engaging with their community, while providing real-time information and announcement around important issues, including road closing or construction updates. It’s the new public service announcement.

I pulled together a few tips for government agencies leveraging social media in their marketing and promotions strategies, along with a few excellent real life examples.

Educate The Community

One of the top priorities for government agencies is to make sure that citizens are informed about current local events. With social media, government agencies can share time-sensitive information to the masses in real time. Additionally, their community no longer has to send a contact email to their representatives and wait 48 hours for a response. Now. they can just look up the local government agency social media account to find the latest information and even ask questions directly to the account.

In the post below, the Chicago Parks took to twitter to announce their annual Summer Season of Night Out. They used their other social media platforms to promote their Facebook Live where they announced their series and discussed what would be included in their summer lineup.



Engaging With Peers

Engaging with followers on social media is crucial. One of the main purposes of social media is to allow a two-way conversation and the only way to truly enable a two-way dialogue is to respond to people posting about your agency and answer online questions. Responding and engaging in social media posts from citizens saves time on both ends. It’s a great way to respond to quick questions so that issues do not get escalated.

In an initiative to gain feedback from their followers and more specifically, veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs launched #VetQ to get direct opinions on an array of issues. The issues discussed, included questions around benefits, healthcare, and government documents. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Central Valley Veterans, VA Maryland Health Care System and BlueStar HonorCare are just a few veterans organizations that got involved.

Now, with Social Listening, organizations, such as government agencies are able to find key information about their audience. This includes geographic information – where are the posts coming from? They are now able to see detailed demographic information around who is talking about their agency or relevant hot-button topics – including age, gender, interests and more.

Handling Important Issues

With Social Intelligence tools, government agencies can stay on top of any crises by setting up real-time alerts based on spikes in a social data. An unusual amount of information on one topic is one possible tip-off to a coming crisis. One technique for identifying potential crises is to define an average volume threshold for your organization, which if surpassed by a data spike will trigger an alert to your team.

For more information, check out our complete guide: Plan For Your Next Crisis With Social Intelligence. This will help you decide what to do when your team finds itself faced with a large conversation with many negative comments.