The Public Sector Guide to Social Media Strategy & Policy

This guide contains practical steps that will help public sector agencies, organizations and departments develop a social media strategy and policy to gain maximum value from social media efforts. It also outlines some smart records retention practices—so you’ll be better prepared to respond to open records requests or other e-discovery needs when they arise.

Determine Your Social Media Strategy

Social media can greatly improve communication, deliver constituent services, help optimize processes, and aid response to emergencies within your community. It can also allow public sector organization employees to be more accountable, transparent, and open. Along with the benefits comes increased awareness of security, privacy, and records management challenges on social media.

A solid social media strategy can help your organization and departments connect with the community in an easy, time and cost-effective manner that most people can access. The strategy doesn’t need to be complicated. Whether this is your first time developing a social media strategy, or you already have one in place, remember to keep it simple. Here are a few things to consider while developing or rounding-out your strategy:

 

  • Available social media tools and capabilities
  • Internal policies and approvals
  • External requirements for preserving records and responding to information requests
  • Your organization’s overall objectives and the needs of the community
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Understand Your Audience

Once you’ve outlined your social media objectives, move on to define your specific target audience. If possible, narrow your audience to clarify by gender, generation, socio-economic group, or by business type, size, or location, where applicable.

These details will guide you as you create social content to share, reach out to influencers, identify relevant social networks, and increase your followers and connections.

83% of Americans have a social media account

79% of online Americans now use Facebook

29% of online adults use Twitter

… and more

Who will create and share your message?

Content creation is one of the most important communication tactics to help your organization be noticed online, and includes original information that you share through website updates, blogging, photography, videos, online commentary, and social media.

Creating original content at all times is an unrealistic goal. Many social media experts suggest an 80/20 mix to keep your audience engaged – where 80 percent of your shared content comes from other sources, and 20 percent is original content created by your organization.

By following this rule, you can curate the content your audience finds relevant and interesting. As a result, they are more likely to pay attention
when you create organization-focused posts.

Tip: Be mindful that all content and links—whether original or shared—are appropriate and align with your organization’s guidelines.

Focus on content that speaks to the needs and interests of your community. Content can comprise material from partner organizations that are active within your community and sister groups in other locations.

This guide contains practical steps that will help public sector agencies, organizations and departments develop a social media strategy and policy to gain maximum value from social media efforts. It also outlines some smart records retention practices—so you’ll be better prepared to respond to open records requests or other e-discovery needs when they aris.

The widespread adoption of social media across public agencies is creating new possibilities for public outreach and media relationships. But to be heard above the noise on social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter requires a smart strategy and thoughtful policies.

In Our Guide You’ll Learn

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How each social media platform should be implemented to generate value

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To set up an engagement process for social media that allows you to complete your objectives

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The right recordkeeping policies that will allow you to respond quickly to open records requests

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