The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Finding Your Social Media Funny Bone

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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Guest Blogger: Katie Nelson, Social Media + Public Relations Coordinator, Mountain View, California, Police Department A day without laughter is a day wasted, or so they say. Unfortunately, for law enforcement agencies, that could mean days, weeks, or even months without any humor on any of their social media pages. Departments, ever cognizant of the delicacy needed in communicating with the public, can get caught up in concerns from their colleagues, other officials, or even themselves that what they post could offend. And while those concerns are valid to a certain extent, the opportunities to humanize your department through humor far outweigh the anguish of potentially having a handful of people grumble about how the agency is trying to be “funny.” While the attempts to amuse will not delight all every time, know that much can be done to safeguard your agency from posting something offensive or posting something that, while humorous, was posted at an inappropriate time. When ...

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Take a Deep Breath and Count to 3 Before Posting…

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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Guest Blogger: Sergeant Rebecca Rosenblatt, San Mateo County, California, Sheriff's Office While taking a moment to ponder the wisdom of messaging before hitting send is never a bad idea in any context, never more so does this advice bear repeating. No matter the size of the community you serve or the organization for which you work, politics is undoubtedly a hot topic. It is at the point where political beliefs and emotion converge with internet enabled devices that the potential for internal investigations and career ending mine fields begins and ends. Though it is certainly not new advice, it is a lesson worth recounting, that what staff do in the privacy of their own lives, often becomes subject to public scrutiny when posted online. Politics and religion are often deal breakers for a myriad of relationships, and so too can they be the breaking point for the public image of your organization. All the bridges built through coffee with the cops and public safety citizens’ academies can be g ...

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Monitoring the News and Social Media with Your Smart Phone – Mobile Crisis Communications

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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Guest blogger: Commander Mike Parker, Los Angeles County, California, Sheriff’s Department Speed and mobility are needed to anticipate and respond quickly and effectively to critical incidents and breaking news at all hours. Free methods are readily available to monitor open sources of information with your smart phone, so you can stay aware and be able to act on the move. Government sources are usually considered the most accurate, but the bureaucratic approval process isn’t usually built for speed. Meanwhile, the news media and public sharing of information via social media are fast on the draw, but misfire as well as hit their targets especially during the first news of a crisis. Thus, a variety of methods to quickly collect, but then cross-reference to verify, makes for an efficient, active, mobile listener. The time to establish and learn your monitoring and listening system is now, before the crisis begins. Here are several free tools to make a priority using your mobile phone: ...

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Going Live in 3, 2, 1: How to Capitalize on Facebook’s Newest Feature

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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Not so long ago, making sure you had a picture with every post ensured optimal reach for your audiences across your social media platforms, particularly Facebook. But Facebook is a numbers game, with developers tweaking a particular algorithm in the social media site’s code to better control how and when users see posts by people and by Pages they follow. A few months ago, Facebook announced the release of Facebook Live.  It was a touted as a game changer. Mark Zuckerberg lauded its benefits and its wonders by doing a LIVE interview with astronauts on the International Space Station.  What Zuckerberg and others failed to say, though, was that the algorithm had changed again. Now, Facebook Live is the ultimate tool to reach the widest audience possible. Images alone won’t cut it. Live-streaming, the ultimate form of real-time transparency, is what audiences will be engineered to see.  But this is no time for something akin to “The Blair Witch Project.” Aud ...

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Increasing Facebook Likes – Ads Vs Content

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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Deputy Chief Andy Johnson is a 17-year veteran of the Hanover Park, Illinois, Police Department. He currently serves as Deputy Chief of Support Services, where he oversees emergency management, code enforcement, records, training, budget and purchasing, and the social media outreach program. Andy has served in a variety of roles within the Hanover Park PD including patrol sergeant, detective, special operations officer, and patrol officer. Andy led a committee tasked with developing a social media outreach initiative for the Hanover Park Police Department, known as the Police and Citizens Connected (PACC) Program. The PACC Program is a department-wide initiative which includes a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other applications. Additionally, he serves as Communications Committee Chair of the DuPage County, Illinois, Chiefs of Police Association and as a member of the Public Relations and Content Strategy Committee for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. One of the primary concerns o ...

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Applying the President’s Task Force Report through Social Media

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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Guest Blogger: Deputy Chief Andy Johnson, Hanover Park, Illinois, Police Department In December of 2014, President Obama commissioned the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which was tasked with identifying best practices in policing and providing recommendations on delivering effective crime control while at the same time protecting public trust in law enforcement. This Task Force was assembled on the heels of several high profile incidents which resulted in protests, demonstrations, and the initiation of a national debate on the relationship between police departments and the communities they serve. The Task Force released its comprehensive final report in May of 2015, which identified six "pillars" of central focus areas: Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and Oversight, Technology and Social Media, Community Policing and Crime Reduction, Officer Training and Education, and Officer Safety and Wellness. The report offered numerous recommendations within each pillar. A revi ...

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Engagement Tip: Self-Initiating Conversations with the Public

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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You may be a proponent of two-way, back-and-forth communication with the public on your agency social media channels, but are you ever self-initiating those conversations out of the blue with users? Many agencies will respond to questions directed at them by users, or to comments left by the public in response to agency posts. While this is a great start, agencies can also take engagement a step further by self-initiating a conversation by randomly replying to a user’s tweet, Facebook post, or Instagram photo. How does this work? There are a few ways that agencies can select posts to which they want to respond. First, they could be following the social media accounts of people who live or work in their community, and spot a post from that person on a topic of mutual concern. Second, the agency could choose to monitor hashtags common to their jurisdiction (for example, #PaloAlto or #MountainView) and selectively respond to any post on a topic of mutual concern. Third, the agency could choose to monitor ...

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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Facebook's Reaction Buttons: All You Need to Know

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

Read Full Bio…

A couple weeks ago, Facebook launched their much anticipated revamp of the “like” function. From now on, instead of just “liking” a post, users can hover over the “like” button and choose between 6 different “reactions”: Like, Love, Hahah (pretty self-explanatory,) Wow, Sad & Angry. What does this mean for you? If your agency is using Facebook, it can help you gain some new insights and better engage your audience. Here’s what you need to know: • Note that there is no “Dislike” button, much to the dismay of many users. Facebook doesn’t want to encourage negativity, so you don’t have to be concerned about people giving you the “thumbs down.” However, the Sad and Angry button can help your fans express feelings about posts that they feel strongly about but may have negative connotations, like a Line of Duty Death or a crime trend. You may see more traffic and reach on these posts, since in the past people may ...

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Using Social Media to Reach Your Community and Beyond

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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In the past 10 years, the use of social media and the number of social media platforms has skyrocketed and everyone from the greatest generation to millennials is using some form of social media. Right now this is one of greatest resources to not only share information with our community but it’s also a great way for agencies to gain insight into their community and grab ideas from other departments.  How far can a single social media post reach and what impact can that one post have on another community? Well, we recently learned that very thing! We received a Facebook message from someone with a picture of an Internet Purchase Exchange Location sign and said they thought it would be a good idea. I researched the program and found that it was simple. Provide a location for people to exchange items they purchased off sites such as Craigslist or Facebook so they didn’t have to provide their home address to a stranger. We thought: we can do that! We purchased two signs, used two pre-exi ...

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Tuesday, March 01, 2016

The Law and Order Effect - These are YOUR Stories

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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Most police professionals chuckle at the thought of police TV shows. Meticulous detective work, a high speed chase, and a passionate trial all taking place over the course of an hour? We like to remind people that real life involves a lot less drama and a lot more paperwork. However, many people (and yours truly among them) absolutely love police shows. We realize they may not be depicting reality too accurately, yet we watch them anyway because to the average person, police work is about as interesting as it gets. This is great news for any police department on social media. If your content is packaged correctly, even the most routine task or encounter can interest your followers. In fact, even on the slowest day, every police department or precinct is filled with faces and stories that would fascinate most users, if you just look in the right places. First and foremost, remember that not every tweet has to be breaking news – in fact, some of my favorite ones are not at all out of the ordinary. ...

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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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Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement. These individuals are law enforcement professionals; sworn and civilian personnel from agencies of all types and sizes throughout the world. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send your request to socialmedia@theiacp.org. All bloggers must be affiliated with a law enforcement agency or educational institution. We cannot accept blog entries from vendors or others working in a for-profit capacity.

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