Is Your Social Media on Auto-Pilot?

Posted on May 26, 2015

How ELGL unknowingly hosted a civic social media conference on Friday.

KCMO Social Media Manager Mark Van Baale lit up the Twitter Bat Signal Friday when he shared a pet peeve that many of us who work, play and lurk online see far too often.

It did not take long for the YAAAAAAS-es and 1,000% agreements to roll in from fellow ELGLers who had similar examples from city and community social media sites that suffer while on auto-pilot.  

The #Twittersation that followed felt like a wonderful blend between conference breakout session and therapy session for those us who spend a good chunk of our time online.
For more than an hour, several ELGL followers took to their Twitter accounts to share stories and best practices. Here were a couple of takeaways that came out of the impromptu social media roundtable:

1. Two different platforms = two different approaches

Sure, everything gets lumped into the umbrella of social media, but that does not mean you can just CTRL-C, CTRL-V your updates from Facebook into Twitter. Take a moment to recognize that both platforms have some very different demographics. Facebook lends itself to more visual content, while Twitter is better at linking and connecting with others talking about similar topics. And these are not the only differences between the two. It take a little creative brainpower, but make sure you are tailoring your updates for each platform and profile.

2. Auto-posting can be tricky and is not for everyone.

Auto-posting and programs that help schedule updates can be helpful, but they can also lead to lazy posting.

Remember, it is not a Ron Popeil Rotisseri. You cannot Set it and Forget it.

Worst case: Your city is faced with a disaster or emergency and your auto-posts continues to drop. It could seem disconnected, unhelpful or, worse, flat out misleading.

Keep your Social Media Social.

3. Don’t discount the citizen-run groups.

This idea was a new one for me but it seems like a simple way to connect directly with your own residents where they gather. How many citizen groups or closed Facebook groups do you belong to? We’re talking about those “You know you’re from _____ city when…” or “_____ city swap and drop.” Does your staff participate and help answer questions about local projects or programs?

4. If nothing else, ask and you will receive a network of people to help.

If this does not demonstrate the power of the ELGL network, then I don’t know what does.
A random tweet was able to generate a conversation that typically is reserved for classrooms and conferences. Real, live people from all over answered questions and participated with helpful and thoughtful dialogue.

My only regret is that we did not throw a hashtag or force @ELGL50 to join in on this conversation for others to look it up. But, really, it happened so quickly and people jumped in from all over, that it was almost impossible to direct or guess how the momentum would take us.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the #SocialMediaGroupHug!

Close window