The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What are Instagram Stories?

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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By now, you’ve probably heard about a big uproar in the social media universe regarding the new Instagram Stories. What the heck is it, you ask? Well, it’s basically Instagram’s direct challenge to the fastest-growing, youth-obsessed platform that is Snapchat.  Instagram Stories are photos and short videos upon which you can write text, draw and color and add a few filters. They appear at the top of a user’s Instagram app with a circle around your profile photo, telling your followers that you’ve uploaded a Story. They can be watched as many times as someone wants, but disappear after 24 hours. Sound familiar? Yes, Stories lacks many of the filters, emoji and options that Snapchat currently has, but they’re coming soon. If you’re wondering why Instagram unveiled this new option there’s a few reasons. One, Instagram is owned by Facebook and they’ve long wanted such a platform after failing to buy Snapchat a few years ago. Two, Instag ...

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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Out with the Old, In with the New: Instagram is A Changin’

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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The saying goes, “the more things change, the more things stay the same,” and that’s certainly true for social media. Instagram is the latest social media platform to go through a big batch of changes recently from how it looks to how it shows content. The biggest change actually affects if people will even see your content to begin with. So here’s what’s changing: New Look   The most obvious change to Instagram is the new logo and stripped down look of the accounts, which are now devoid of color outside of the content itself. Instagram did this, they said, to accentuate the content and not their app. From what I’ve read, most people preferred the old logo, but this change was more cosmetic, unlike this next one. More Video  One really nice change is the enhancement of video capabilities, which is yet another example of the growing popularity of video across all social media platforms. Instead of a mere 15 seconds of video, you now have a ...

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Understanding Social Media 101

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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Many of the blogs you read on here go into great detail about social media strategy, how a new platform works, and tips for how you can be the most successful at using different platforms. But something critical that’s often overlooked is a basic understanding of how and why social media even matters to many employees. For those that don’t work in Public Affairs, Investigations, or aren’t under say 30 years of age, social media is not something that’s native to their daily lives. And yet they know it’s important to their agency, their kids, and the world as a whole today and they WANT to understand it. They just don’t know how to go about doing that. That’s what inspired me to start holding monthly classes at the sheriff’s office where any employee could come and ask any question they had about social media. Want to know what Twitter is and how it works? How about how to make sure your Facebook settings are set appropriately? In this class, you could ask any ...

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Monday, January 04, 2016

Facebook Update Focuses on “Engaging Posts”

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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Facebook often likes to change up how things look or how we post to the platform, but one recent change actually might help us with WHAT we post. I recently started seeing the phrase “Engaging Post” on our Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office timeline and started paying attention to when it showed up and how the posts differed from others. Here’s an example of what it looks like: When you hover over the little “I for Info” box with your mouse, this explainer comes up: The goal, apparently, is to help you post the most engaging content, which, honestly is what we’re all trying to do. I’ve seen this little icon pop up mostly on individual or a pair of photos that generated a lot of comments, specifically positive comments, like the ones above. I can also tell from looking at my Facebook analytics that they’re on the road to being able to tell us even more in-depth ways just how people feel about certain posts. Here’s another example. Check out the ...

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Monday, October 26, 2015

#IACP2015 Recap: Tips and Tricks to Know if Your Social Media Efforts are Working

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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Most law enforcement agencies have been using social media to different degrees for several years now, but how do you know if your efforts are working? That was the question during Saturday’s IACP 2015 conference session by Cambridge Police Department Director of Communications Jeremy Warnick. I think Warnick summed it up perfectly with this statement: “It’s about more than the number of likes and followers you have. It’s about engagement,” he said. And engagement is not one way. You can’t just push out information on different platforms and not respond to the questions and comments that come as a result. For example, if you post about a missing person and ask for the community’s help in sharing the information, you need to follow up when the person is found by both creating a new post saying they’ve been found as well as posting a comment in the initial feed so that everyone can see the updated information. Warnick’s three keys poin ...

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How Does a Law Enforcement Social Media Group Work?

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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You’re reading this blog because you want to better understand law enforcement social media issues, right? You’re far from alone. Most of us who read the great and informative blogs on this site do so because we want to enhance our knowledge and understanding of social media when it comes to law enforcement. I know I do! One of the even better ways to do that is through a law enforcement social media working group. Through our bloggers, you’ve likely heard about a few of them: • the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group, • the San Gabriel Valley Law Enforcement Social Media Group, • the Virginia Law Enforcement Social Media Group, and the • the Saskatchewan Law Enforcement Social Media Group. Today I’m here to tell you about a new one and to let you know if you attend the upcoming IACP Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, you can hear even more from the creators and members of each of these groups! On Su ...

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Social Media Strategy

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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How do you get such great stuff to post and why is it so popular? That’s the most common thing I’m asked now that law enforcement agencies have, for the most part, moved beyond their fear of dealing with negative comments on social media. The answer is simple: strategy. And it’s not a complicated one either! In short, it’s about knowing when people are using your social media platforms and posting the content you do have at the right times and with the right lingo. These are my three biggest pieces of strategy advice: 1-Know how to post 2-Know when to post 3-Know what to post Let’s start with the how. There are several apps that let you link your social media platforms so you can cross post with one click, meaning you can post to Facebook and the same content will automatically post to Twitter, a blog and other sites. But this isn’t considered good practice because your audiences are different on each platform. I will be the first to admit that for several ...

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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Social Media - Old School Style

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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I call this blog Social Media—Old School Style because it’s about using ways that are considered “old school” by today’s standards to accomplish the same mission as social media: educate, inform and engage with your community. The difference is that this community is internal. Though some of your deputies and civilians may use social media in their personal lives or have only a basic understanding of how it all works, they still deserve to be able to learn and enjoy the same content. That’s why we try to update a particular Public Affairs bulletin board on a regular basis with some of that good content. Yes, a real, hung-on-the-wall bulletin board with thumb tacks! Here’s one example: When it was Dr. Seuss’ birthday, we had some fun by asking deputies and civilians to let us take photos of them with some of their favorite Seuss books. Our social media audience loved it, but we also thought it would be fun for those employees who aren’t on social media ...

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#CommunitiesLoveLemonadeStandsToo

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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You may have read my colleague Zach Perron’s blog here recently about Palo Alto Police’s #CopsLoveLemonadeStands campaign, and I’m writing to tell you that if you’re not participating, you’re missing out! We jumped on board the campaign at the end of June and it’s been one of the most popular, positive and fun social media campaigns we’ve ever experienced! After learning about the initiative from PAPD, I spoke with my sheriff and command staff and asked if they’d be on board with trying it here in Jefferson County and I got a resounding yes. So, just like PAPD, we started with a Nextdoor post asking people to let us know when and where their kids would be holding a lemonade stand so we could send a deputy by between calls. It immediately blew up with positive comments. People really loved that we were being proactive on something fun and positive in our community as well as educating our youngest members about law enforcement in such a great and interactive ...

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Think You're Facebook Responsive? Think Again

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

Read Full Bio…

Facebook is always updating its platform with new formats and tweaks, but a recent update a few of us noticed this week was a responsiveness measurement icon. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the best ways of using Facebook, they come out with a new one to challenge you! And I would definitely call this one a challenge—but a fun one—for law enforcement agencies. So, are you Facebook responsive? You make think you respond to comments, questions and private messages fairly well, but unless you’re responding to 90 percent of your private messages AND with a median response time of five minutes, Facebook doesn’t think so. Their new “Very Responsive to Messages” icon, which you can see in green under the profile picture on the Palo Alto Police Department page, requires your page to have done both of those two things over the past seven days for your page to receive it. I first noticed the update when I saw two new analytics boxes on the bottom right side of o ...

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About This Blog

So you have found, or perhaps stumbled upon, The Social Media Beat, the blog for the IACP Center for Social Media Web site. The Social Media Beat is about three things: social media, law enforcement, and perspective. Here you will find a fresh outlook on the issues that are affecting law enforcement agencies and their personnel when it comes to social media.

Social media is taking the world by storm. Social networks, blogs, photo and video sharing sites, and virtual communities are changing the way people live, work, and play. These tools present unique opportunities as well as challenges to the law enforcement community.  The Social Media Beat brings together a team of bloggers who will speak directly to you about hot topics and current issues.

Bloggers include IACP staff and practitioners in the field who can provide a unique front-line perspective. Our team cares about social media and wants to ensure that law enforcement across the country are knowledgeable and well-equipped to incorporate this technology.

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Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, which is the largest, full-service sheriff’s office in the state of Colorado. Prior to that, she spent more than six years creating and leading the Richmond, Virginia, Police Department’s social media efforts, which led to international acclaim and recognition.

She has spoken about law enforcement and social media at more than a dozen conferences across the country in addition to four IACP annual conferences. Waugh is a former newspaper reporter who wrote about crime, police, and the court system for several years. That experience and an ingrained curiosity for what makes people tick has fueled her desire to improve communication between people. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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