It’s up there with forgetting the rings on your own wedding day for how not to do it.
Back in the day you had to be a fan of a council if you wanted to see what your council was doing on Facebook. Thing is, not everyone did.
As a platform, it’s a behemoth. Theres 500 million registered globally and more than 20 million in the UK.
Today there’s some brilliant examples of how Local Government can use it.
If you believe in the argument that you go where the debate is – and everyone sensible does – then Facebook is a must.
How to do it well as an organisation? Go to Coventry. They do it brilliantly. Look, observe and learn.
The story of just how they do it is well covered in this blog by Steve Woodward from a talk given by Ally Hook at the Coventry and Warwickshire Social Media Cafe. There’s also this natty video of her talk if you want it direct.
Ally Hook is one of the good people on Twitter. I’d spoken to her before launching our own council’s Facebook fan page.
What’s her secret? Simple. The main messages I took are:
- Use the language of the platform.
- Be laid back.
- Don’t call yourself ‘Council.’ Call yourself after the area you represent, if you can.
- Don’t have a logo. They switch people off. Have a nice picture of the place you represent.
- Don’t update too much. People will get bored and stop ‘liking’ you.
- You can delete abusive posts.
- Use a fan page not a Facebook group. You’ll get a breakdown of amazing stats on people who like you.
- Interact. Talk to people. They’ll talk back.
Coventry went from 300 to 11,000 in weeks when they started to use Facebook as an outlet for school closure updates.
Should this be the only way Local Government uses Facebook? Of course not.
For venues and events it works brilliantly. Anywhere where there is a community it can work. People respond strongly to bricks and mortar far more than they do to institutions. Have a look at the Warwick Arts Centre, New York Public library or Solihull libraries.
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