The Social Stuff We Loved in 2016

Here are three examples of public agencies doing impactful work on social media.

by / December 20, 2016

It’s the holiday season, and what a great time to reflect on all that we're thankful for. Unfortunately, public agencies don’t hear “thanks” enough, so in true GovTech Social fashion, we're going to take a moment to honor some of the examples of public agencies doing impactful work on social media. After all, an effective social media presence — one that succeeds in informing and serving citizens — is undeniably appreciable.

Miami Police Department on YouTube

This year, the Miami Police Department entered the world of vlogging and saw great results. Its YouTube vlog series gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at everyday police work. It also helps foster community and police relations by letting residents get to know the officers who serve them. All of the video production is done in-house and manages to look high quality while also being inexpensive to produce. Through the vlog, Miami PD is reaching new audiences. Specifically, the videos have a been a big hit with teenagers, and have even inspired some younger people to pursue law enforcement as a career.

City of Roanoke, Va., on Facebook

Roanoke makes it very easy for the public to get engaged with the city through its Social Media Center, which is a streamlined, easy-to-access portal to all the city’s social media accounts. Visitors can view the latest posts from more than 20 city social profiles — ranging from YouTube and Facebook to Vimeo, Twitter and Instagram — with just one click on the city’s website. The city’s stand-out presence, though, is its Facebook page, which has reach metrics that consistently exceed the city’s population. In recent months, Roanoke has become a prime example of the how effective live streaming video can be. Its use of Facebook Live has increased real-time transparency and allowed the city to better showcase its happenings, anything from holiday festivities to inclement weather.

West Hollywood, Calif., Across Social Media

West Hollywood is a great example of social media reflecting the culture and personality of its inhabitants. With humorous, lighthearted and occasionally provocative posts, its social media exhibits a creativity that draws attention to the organization. Officials also build relationships with social media influencers from their community, which helps them reach an even wider audience. As an early adopter, the city has Facebook and Twitter accounts dating back to 2008, and currently maintains more than 30 accounts on more than a dozen different platforms, with the most activity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Pretty impressive for a city with a population of only 35,000!

I hope these examples that my staff and I came up with not only inspire improvements to your own social media strategy (for more inspiration, check out this email-based Crash Course for Social Media in Government), but also serve as a reminder to showcase and honor the positive impact being made by public agencies across social media. Can you think of an agency who deserves to be on this list? If so, let us know so we can start following them!

Anil Chawla
Anil Chawla is the founder and CEO of ArchiveSocial, a civic tech company that specializes in risk mitigation and open records management of government social media. The parent company of Government Technology is an investor in ArchiveSocial through e.Republic Ventures.