No bona fide blog would be complete without the occasional obligatory “top five list” or “mythbusters” post. So let’s just knock both out right here. Below are some common mythological laments from police administrators resisting the plunge into social media.
Social Media is a Royal Time Suck
Managing social media is only as time consuming as you allow it to be. You don’t have to waste away hours looking at Twitter feeds, blog posts, and Facebook pages. You can, but you don’t have to. Put yourself on a schedule: shoot for one Facebook post each day, a couple of tweets daily, and maybe a blog post every week or so. If you miss your targets, so what, no one is keeping score. Furthermore, you don’t have to be “everywhere” – pick the platform you like best and go with it for awhile before moving onto others.
I don’t have the staff to devote to this!
I can hear you now … “I barely have the staff to patrol the streets, much less patrol the tweets.” Just as social media management doesn’t need to take a lot of time, it doesn’t require additional staff. I venture to say that far as “other duties as assigned” go, managing the department’s social media plan can’t be the worst of the lot. Surely there’s an officer, civilian, or volunteer who’s up to the task. Or, rotate the responsibility. While a single “voice” is nice, it’s not required, and passing the job around can provide fresh perspectives.
I’m all thumbs when it comes to computers.
It’s ok if you don’t know the difference between a terabyte and a pterodactyl. Really, web surfing and keyboarding are the extent of the technology skills required to get started. If you’ve made it to this blog, you’re well on your way. Tutorials abound on the web, including a great series right here on the IACP’s Center for Social Media site
geared directly to law enforcement.
What on EARTH will I write/post/tweet about??
Really? You’re a police department. Amazing things happen every single day. It may seem like “routine” police work to you, but it’s fascinating to the public. Don’t be afraid to be creative … or a copycat. Look to other departments for inspiration.
It’s just a trendy fad.
Pet rocks and parachute pants were trendy fads. Social media does not fall into that camp. The following figures give a good indication that social media is for real.
Years to Reach 50 Million Users
Radio: 38 Years
Internet: 4 Years
iPod: 3 Years
Facebook adds 50 million users every 2-3 months. Where are you?