Government Humor Strategy on Social Media – What Works

Humor coming from a government agency has the capability to skyrocket engagement or go up in flames causing a PR nightmare. If you run a government social media page, you are well aware of the struggle to obtain followers and boost engagement. Many of us are tempted to experiment with humor, but could there be a strategy for government humor on social media?

We hosted a discussion on this topic on June 18, during our #GSMCHAT bi-weekly Twitter chat. Several local and state agency representatives from all over the United States joined in sharing their ideas and experiences with each other. While some admitted a hesitance toward humor, the majority enjoys joking with their followers.   Continue reading Government Humor Strategy on Social Media – What Works

City of Reno Proclaims June 30 as “Social Media Day” in the Biggest Little City

As the host city of the first-ever state and local government social media conference this past April, the City of Reno, Nevada is the latest government agency to issue a proclamation naming June 30, 2015, as “Social Media Day”. Continue reading City of Reno Proclaims June 30 as “Social Media Day” in the Biggest Little City

Five Timesaving Template Ideas for Government Social Media

Investing a bit of your time in creating social media content templates can be worth it in the long run, as your agency balances valuable staff time with the need for consistent social media posts. A template can simply be a text document with generic language and fill-in-the-blank sections. Here are five template ideas that can help you and your team lighten the load and boost citizen engagement. Continue reading Five Timesaving Template Ideas for Government Social Media

Attend the Government Social Media Conference

Registration is now open for the first annual Government Social Media Conference & Expo (GSMCON), taking place in Reno, Nevada from April 29 – May 1, 2015. Unlike all other national social media conferences, GSMCON was created specifically for those whose work involves social media management for government entities rather than the corporate world. Continue reading Attend the Government Social Media Conference

Nextdoor Social Network Now Available for Public Agencies announced the launch of “Nextdoor for Public Agencies” today (which is by no coincidence the National PrepareAthon! Day of Action).

The average Joe uses the Nextdoor social network to connect with their neighbors about local issues. It is a closed network only open to the people who live in each neighborhood. But with today’s announcement, public agencies across the United States will be able to tap in to the platform to connect with citizens and address hyperlocal issues and concerns. The application to police and public safety communications alone could make Nextdoor a game-changer. Continue reading Nextdoor Social Network Now Available for Public Agencies

6 Tips for Unlikable Government Agencies on Social Media

Humane societies and lottery commissions have it easy on social media. Everyone likes to see pictures of cute puppies for adoption and lucky citizens holding oversized checks!

Most government agencies don’t have social media ‘likes’ served to them on a silver platter – but what about the agencies with the hardest time on social media because they run services that people don’t care for? There are always exceptions, but people generally don’t have a great love for DMVs, unemployment offices, tax assessors, etc.

There are several ways to approach social media if you are one of these agencies, and here are six tips to get you started! Continue reading 6 Tips for Unlikable Government Agencies on Social Media

5 Steps to Creating Awesome Social Media Content for Government (with no time or team!)

Hundreds of government employees tuned into a webinar on July 8 focused on how to create content for social media (with a focus on doing it quickly, yet strategically).

I hosted the webinar, and I have a theory on why it was so popular. Although there are a lot of introductory social media webinars out there (I’ve hosted them myself!), no one is really focusing on ‘content strategy’ for local government in a big way. Nearly everyone recognizes the value of social media in the public sector, but how do we get the most bang for our buck with our limited resources?

Watch the webinar replay here and weigh in on the conversation with your own ideas!

Webinar Replay

3 Things Governments Should Do with the New Twitter Design

Twitter recently unveiled a new look – and here’s what you need to know if you manage a Twitter account for a government agency.

1. Optimize Your Images

Header Image on iPhoneFirst of all, your existing profile picture (probably your agency’s logo or official seal) is going to automatically stretch proportionally to fit the larger 400×400 pixel size. You might not even have to update it, unless the resolution looks grainy – an indicator that you need a larger size. Continue reading 3 Things Governments Should Do with the New Twitter Design

Changing Your Name on Social Media

I recently got married (in an awesomely nerdy LOTR* themed wedding) and changed my last name from Fifelski to my husband’s last name, Dalton. Legally changing your name and dealing with altering it on your driver’s license, passport, debit cards, online billing, etc. is quite a process. However, this process was equaled in tediousness when it came to changing my digital footprint on social media. Continue reading Changing Your Name on Social Media

Is Podcasting Social Media?

As you develop your agency’s social media strategy for 2014, should you add podcasts to your playbook? Guest contributor Mark Fletcher talks about podcasting as a way to reach your audience. Listen to an audio version of this blog post –

By definition, according to Wikipedia, “social media refers to interaction among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.” While most people would think that ‘interaction’ portrays a two-way conversation using the originating media, I will argue that any conversation that is sparked by a ‘media interaction’ should be considered as social media, as well as the original media content.

Actually, Podcasting is really nothing more than a form of “audio blogging.” For the past four years I’ve produced podcasts on a weekly basis, delivering them in three multimedia formats; MP3 audio podcasts, a written blog, and occasionally a YouTube video which may or may not include additional graphical elements. Continue reading Is Podcasting Social Media?

Cuteness Pays Off in Animal Shelter Social Media

Dogs are a man’s best friend, but they certainly aren’t cheap. Just ask any pet owner! The cost of food, supplies, medicine, and vet appointments for dogs, cats, and other “fur babies” can definitely add up!

Animal shelter employees and volunteers undoubtedly understand all of the costs associated with taking care of animals. Shelters—which can be non-profit entities or government-run departments—house, feed, and care for homeless, lost, and abandoned pets, often with limited budgets. The success of most animal shelters depends on government funding or grants, donations from the public, and the assistance of unpaid workers.

Shelters must continually strive to increase both pet adoptions as well as monetary donations, and social media is helping many animal shelters do both. Continue reading Cuteness Pays Off in Animal Shelter Social Media

5 Government Agencies Using Zombies to Raise Awareness

People just can’t get enough of zombies these days. These walking corpses with a hunger for human flesh are so popular, in fact, that they’ve become the focal point of video games, books, and even advertisements in addition to horror movies and gory television shows.

Companies such as Honda, Sears, and FedEx, just to name a few, have launched zombie-themed marketing campaigns, but you may be surprised that several public sector entities have also put zombies to work. Many of these campaigns involve social media. Continue reading 5 Government Agencies Using Zombies to Raise Awareness

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