Right, so as a municipality we have decided we want to get started with Social Media. And we have even taken the first tentative steps to get involved. But how can we get seriously going and in a controllable way? And how do we now if it works?
The answer is simple; by employing a well-founded strategy. Which describes what your goals are, who you want to reach, why and how you are going to do it. Some principles for building a solid strategy:
• Social Media are not exclusively the domain of marketeers and communication officers; all employees should be involved.
• Make sure you have a single, clear image of the municipality that you want to project.
• Distinguish carefully between the public and the private use of Social Media.
The fundaments of the Social Media Strategy
• Determine your goals. What do you want to achieve with Social Media? Better contact, more understanding, greater support for your policies etc. Make sure your goals are measurable.
• Perform a baseline measurement to determine how, where and by whom your municipality is being discussed and what your reputation is.
• Determine which media are suitable to get involved with en who will be responsible.
• Determine which subjects are suitable for discussion and in which Social Media.
• Schedule your activities on a daily or weekly basis.
• Monitor the activity of the target groups based on specific keywords and subjects.
• Measure! Use a clever tool which allows you to measure all activities and which delivers accurate reports.
A Social Media Policy
Before you embark on a major Social Media campaign it is wise to put together a Social Media Policy or Code of Conduct which deals with topics like:
• What types of messages you do or do not respond to.
• Who is allowed to say what on behalf of the municipality.
• How you address your target groups (respectfully).
• How you deal with confidential information (yours as well as that of others).
• How you deal with controversial issues.
This database contains lots of examples of Social Media policies.