Public sector organisations have a great opportunity to create engaging local content on social media. 2020 is the year of authentic, meaningful engagement; so use these tips to upgrade your social media content and connect with your local audience!
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Recycle Content
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you post something. While huge global brands like Innocent and Red Bull can afford huge teams to post original content multiple times per day, your organisation can make use of the content you have already produced.
Recycling content also reinforces your messages, by reaching new people as well as showing it to people who may have seen it before, but not had the time to properly read it. You can either repost the same content, or play around with the copy and imagery to find a different way to convey the same message.
2. Speak to Your Audience
Part of providing valuable services to your local community means taking suggestions from the public on how to improve, providing a great opportunity to promote ‘you said, we did’-style content on social media. Show that you’re listening to your audience and doing something about their feedback!
The Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group are sharing feedback from making nursing training more accessible, showing that they listen to what their audience wants.
Take a look at our you said, we did/are doing video.
‚Äî Somerset CCG (@somersetccg) December 16, 2019
The public sector tends to shy away from celebrating their success, as there’s always a new obstacle to overcome. The thing is, no one else is shy on social media! You are competing for attention in a space that is overcrowded with businesses broadcasting how great they are. Shout about your successes and show your audience what you are achieving for the local community.
3. Take Note of Global Trends
Global trends are global for a reason: they apply to everyone on social media. 2019 saw some new trends emerge, that are only continuing to evolve and gain popularity in 2020. Videos continue to be the most engaging and compelling content for social media users, with live videos taking that engagement one step further.
Market Bosworth Police do a fantastic job with keeping citizens up to date via live video. Their success is clearly shown by the reach of their content; while they have 11K followers on their Facebook page, a simple live video for a flood update reached 30K people.
Another format of social media content that continues to become more and more valuable to organisations is ephemeral content — content that is available for 24 hours, such as Stories. You can show a more authentic, transparent side that connects with your audience on a deeper level, improving your relationship.
4. Treat Each Social Platform Differently
To really shine through on social media, your strategy must tailor your content to each platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube) that you’re present on. Your audience expectations will vary across platforms so it’s important to be aware of this and craft your content around these differences.
Each social media platform has its own specific needs and cultures that can benefit your organisation differently. Your audience on Twitter will be used to short-form content that is fun, entertaining and humorous. On the other hand, audiences on Facebook will be looking for more long-form, informative content that updates them on local issues and solves problems quickly. That’s not to say you can’t still be entertaining on Facebook!
5. Measure Your Content
You may be storming ahead at 100 miles an hour to get your content out and respond to your audience, but it’s important to take some time to reflect on how things are going. Keep asking yourself: what worked well, and what would you differently?
While it’s important to analyse your efforts, don’t waste time measuring everything. Get specific about your social media goals (which should also tie into overall organisation goals), and drill down on the analytics that indicates how you’re progressing.
6. Prepare to Collaborate in a Crisis
From burst water pipes to severe weather, social media can be a great place to broadcast updates on crises. Working with other public sector organisations can amplify these messages, reaching more relevant people in the local area.
During the flooding that occurred late last year, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service were sharing regular updates from the council, helping the message reach more relevant people in the local area.
Your organisation has the potential to become a trusted source of information during a crisis, keeping the media and the public up to date on all developments. Prepare beforehand by knowing the different teams you should get in contact with, to have the biggest impact with your updates.
Growing an audience is helpful, but reaching residents and communities is the priority. Once reached, you can inform, influence, capture feedback, and maybe even promote positive behaviour change. Experiment with new types of content on social media to keep striving towards serving your audience better.