Take-aways from #SM4GOV – 1


Last week I attended the 8th Social Media in Gov conference . It was valuable, insightful and reaffirming regarding the use of social media (or social as those in Comms call it) in the public service space. It was also a fascinating experience, as it was the first time I have attended a conference that was not teacher or education focused and with that came a brand-new culture and language that I had to get my head around quickly.

Quirky fun fact 1 – all edu conferences I have been to have had a deliberate opportunity to mingle at a dinner. Not so in this space – interesting and different!

Quirky fun fact 2 – I quickly realised that I was potentially the only one who plays games, as I was the only one who had an understanding of Twitch (albeit on a limited basis).

Quirky fun fact 3 – the Seattle Police Department use Twitch as a social media platform to engage with their audience.


So, enough of the quirky fun facts. It is good to have a couple of days away from the intensity of a conference. It allows what really stood out to settle and start to link into the potential application of one’s setting. Below is a list of what is emerging as having resinated with me so far:

  1. Plan – planning is vital. Create a content calendar and schedule your stories. But don’t stop there. Being agile and flexible is vital in this space. Often what is shared in the moment resinates with your audience in a unique way.
  2. Set aside time to meet with the team to determine what needs to be covered over the next week or two. This includes conversations or a meetings with trad comms. Strong links here are vital.
  3. Play and learn. Take time out each week to undertake professional learning in the social media space and read about what is happening. The space moves fast and it is important to be aware and up-skill.
  4. Influencers are important to getting your story out. Having key people who have an audience support your story, will raise its profile.
  5. Carefully consider which platforms you are using – you don’t need to be on all of them, think strategically about where you audience is and how best to reach them.
  6. Develop a voice for each platform/account that you utilise – this may mean developing a set of guidelines/examples so when new people come on board they can quickly maintain consistency.
  7. Budget – you need one! The suggestion is that you need to start moving the traditional media budget over to the social media budget. Resourcing the area with people and equipment is required to ensure social media is a space that gets your story out. Beyond this, always remember social media is a social space and people expect good customer service – it’s part of the deal.
  8. Be the first to tell your story, be the source of truth for your agency.
  9. Analyse your data. Look back over each month and consider what worked and what didn’t – choose 5 of the best performing posts and 5 of the least performing posts. Dig deeper than this as well, take time to understand your audience – sentiment is important to unpack.
  10. Get others in your agency to provide stories, this will build the human connection.


More to follow in a few days…



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