Tips on Using Social Media to Connect with Your Residents

Resource Government
July 30, 2012 — 1,046 views  
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Social media has become a part of everyday life for many U.S. residents. While government administrators might feel out of the loop, they can easily use services like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and more to connect with residents.

Consider the following tips to communicate with citizens across the country.

1. Learn the technology

With this type of technology, you'll be able to engage your audience. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to reach more people than ever before, so you'll want to keep this in mind when you learn to use social platforms.

Online tutorials are a great place to start, as they provide easy-to-understand directions that will show you the basics. Social networks frequently offer assistance with support centers that include FAQs and web-based forums. Current users may have experienced the same problems getting acclimated to the online tools, and you'll be able to receive plenty of support to be successful on any platform.

2. Consider your audience

Developing a game plan will help you properly integrate social media into your operations. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivers an example of how evaluating this factor can make a significant difference in effectively using social media.

According to The State News, Snyder has been able to build strong public support by providing constituents with information through online platforms. Recently, the governor hosted a virtual town hall to further enhance the communication between himself and Michigan residents.

"This is just one of the ways we can harness the latest technology to give people direct access to their state government," state representative Mike Shirkey told the news source. "It's a great way to participate in the democratic process."

Your audience likely wants to have a forum to express their opinions, thoughts and views about a variety of topics, and giving them this option is quick and simple with social media.

3. Examine the benefits

When you evaluate the advantages of social media, you might start to wonder why you didn't review the option sooner. You'll be able to instantly share information with the public through several outlets, and the impact could be significant.

"It helps keep people informed, but it also makes legislators less scary, in a sense,” college student Shelby Thelen, a social relations and policy student, told the news outlet. "They're no longer just a bunch of lawmakers cooped up in a big room."

Government administrators may be able to change the way they're viewed by the general public if they use social media. 

Resource Government