An amazing statistic like a battering ram breaks down doors.
Here’s a good one.
For every one person who buys a copy of the Express & Star in the West Midlands borough of Walsall there are 10 on Facebook.
That’s print outnumbered by digital by a rate of 10 to one.
It’s the single most powerful argument to use social media in local government you can ever have. Why? Because it shows it’s mainstream. In fact, so mainstream it dwarfs what used to be the colossus of the printed Press.
It’s a cunning wheeze I first came across at the landmark LocalGovCamp in Birmingham in summer 2009.
Paul Cole, a talented man from Derby, spoke about how he did it. People never fail to be impressed by the idea.
You create a Facebook advert — but before you hand over cash you are given the chance to narrow down who you want to advertise to.
It’s at this point that you can get the juicy stats.
Here’s how to come up with one than your community:
1. Log on to Facebook.
2. Click the link that says ‘create an advert.’
3. Fill in the advert. Just type ‘hghghg’ if you like.
4.Upload an image. Any will do. This gets you to the place where you can access figures.
5. Look at the figure in the far right of the screen. That’s the figure of people registered on Facebook for the UK.
6. Add your town or city.
7. Select the radius you want to search from from the centre of your area with 16 km the shortest distance.
8. Click search and you have a figure for your own community.
10. Add an interest – like football, knitting or fishing – and search on that term too.