The Social Media Beat

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The Social Media Beat

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.

Read Full Bio…

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.

Read Full Bio…

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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Friday, February 26, 2016

Snapchat Strategies for Law Enforcement

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…

When you think of Snapchat, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Such a temporary, consequence-free environment seems like the ideal place for sexting, right? Despite its initial eyebrow-raising reputation, this wildly popular social app actually does have redeeming qualities that can benefit law enforcement. We recently integrated Snapchat into our repertoire at Fort Collins Police Services. Here’s a look at our experience so far and how we’re hoping to connect with our community on this growing platform. What is Snapchat? Not exactly sure how Snapchat works? Don’t feel bad. The app, launched in 2011, is a mystery to most people over 30 who don’t have teenagers. With a mobile-only interface and unintuitive features, it’s a big departure from the web-based social media we know and love. Let’s start with the basics. Snapchat is a photo and video messaging smartphone app that allows users to send pictures or videos (“snaps”) to friends. Once a reci ...

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Monday, February 08, 2016

10,000 Characters for a Tweet?

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…

In January 2016, many tech media outlets began reporting that Twitter would be increasing their character limit for tweets from 140 characters to 10,000 characters (see this article from Re/code). While an official announcement from Twitter has yet to be made, the potential change is something about which law enforcement agencies should be giving some thought now. The 140-character limit has been Twitter’s unique hallmark since its inception; Twitter purists curse the very thought of a change, predicting that the conversion will be a failed attempt to make the platform “more Facebook-like” and that it will result in the loss of the short, live-update feel beloved by so many. All may not be lost for the Twitter traditionalists, however. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, a source with knowledge of the potential change has said that Twitter plans to retain the same “look and feel” of the timeline. Tweets that exceed 140 characters would require the user to click to expand to ...

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Spreading Cheer – and Safety – this Holiday Season

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…

Who doesn’t love the holidays in New York City? Rockefeller Center, ice skating in Central Park, Times Square...but for us at the NYPD, this time of year is also a busy season, as thousands of people flock to the city to enjoy the special holiday atmosphere. Public safety always comes first, and we have been using our 113 official NYPD Twitter accounts, Facebook page, and Instagram account to remind New Yorkers that although the city has never been safer, we are out there 24/7, so that they can enjoy their holidays. We’ve also learned that there are grinches that surface this time of year, so we are supplying our accounts with a few seasonal crime prevention tips. These include graphics warning New Yorkers about people stealing packages from lobbies and phony IRS debt collectors. This year also presented new challenges with some popular holiday gifts. Therefore, if you asked for an unmanned aerial system (drone) or hoverboard, you can expect to see cool GIFs from the NYPD about how to avoi ...

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Twitter Tip: Photo Tagging

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…

Are you using Twitter’s “photo tagging” feature? If not, you should be. This post will tell you first what it is, then outline the many benefits it can bring to your agency, and finally, tell you how you do it. What does “photo tagging” look like? What does it do? Twitter allows up to ten accounts to be “tagged” in each tweet with photos. This is separate and distinct from a “mention” of an account in the text of the tweet itself. So, rather than using up your 140 characters to mention various Twitter accounts, you can save space and simply tag them in a photo. When a user is “tagged” in your tweet, they receive a notification. Here’s what a tweet with tags looks like; note that you can click on the “5 others” text and bring up the full list of all ten accounts: Why should you use photo tags? It’s often easy for a tweet to get overlooked in our timelines. Since Twitter sends a notification when ...

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Thursday, December 03, 2015

Officer Elf on the Shelf Returns to Sarasota Police Department Headquarters

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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For the second year in a row, Officer Elf on the Shelf has returned to provide backup to the Sarasota Police Department Officers in the City of Sarasota, Florida. So far in 2015, Officer Elf was spotted at the airport waiting to catch a flight from the North Pole, was sworn in by Chief Bernadette DiPino, and was caught riding shotgun with a Sarasota Police Officer. The idea for Officer Elf on the Shelf came up in December 2014 when I was brainstorming ideas to connect our community to our officers even more in a holiday way through our social media accounts. December is a very busy month for the men and women of the Sarasota Police Department with holiday parades, tree lightings, a boat parade along the Gulf of Mexico, and our annual Shop with a Cop, all which involve officers and our community. I wanted to not only have our community in Sarasota be part of all the holiday festivities but I also wanted our followers on social media to see that we have a sense of humor and we love this time as year just as ...

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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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