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What Does Effective Cyber Social Messaging Look Like?

Government IT shops are increasingly embracing their roles as cybersecurity leaders. But what does it take to be good at cybersecurity on social media? Minnesota IT Services’ approach is one good example.

by / October/November 2020
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A growing number of technology offices in state and local government have a public-facing role on social media. And many use their platforms to not only tell their department’s story, but also to reinforce best practices when it comes to tech, and caution against prevalent cyberthreats to keep employees, businesses and citizens safe online. We caught up with the team at Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) to learn more about their social media efforts.

As far as social media, one external communications associate manages posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, aided by in-house graphic design expertise as needed. The work is overseen by the agency’s communications director.  

Here’s how Kendall Johnson of MNIT communications describes their social media strategy:

“Minnesota IT Services (MNIT), the IT agency for the state’s executive branch, mainly uses social media to inform the public of relevant IT projects, provide general cybersecurity information, and to highlight successful or compelling stories within the agency. We see our social media pages as a storytelling platform, where we create a person-centered narrative about the technology that connects Minnesotans to their state government.  

“Our biggest campaign of the year is Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. We create a theme for each week, generate content and graphics around that theme, and engage with the national campaign throughout the month. During that campaign, we also typically participate in a public event, which helps to tie our cybersecurity messages to people’s everyday lives.”

The agency closely measures the performance of its social media efforts, reporting out to leadership on a regular basis. Results inform the content and the timing of posts, helping to maximize engagement. Johnson reports the following growth in MNIT’s social following over the past year: Facebook, 10 percent; Twitter, 9 percent; and LinkedIn, 57 percent. Timely, person-centered content, Johnson reports, sparks the most interest from followers.

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