It seems like almost every day something is changing in the world of social media. There’s a new networking site, a new app or, even more challenging, suddenly new settings on the sites you feel you finally have a solid grasp on.
One of the best ways you can stay on top of that is by keeping up with the current trends in law enforcement and social media. Sound like even more work? Maybe, but this little bit of preparation can go a long way in keeping you in the know.
Here are a few Web sites that are updated regularly with important information in ways that make it easy to understand and quick to read:
The IACP Social Media Web site may see obvious, but even though I’ve been using social media at RPD for almost four years now, I still learn interesting facts and ideas from the different topics and case studies of other police departments on the IACP site. The case studies are one of the most fascinating to me because it shows you how every agency uses social media differently and how they can make it work for them, even if it’s different from how other agencies use it. Additionally, the regular blog topics keep me up to date about ongoing issues in our field as well as inspire me to try new ways of using social media.
PoliceOne.com is all about policing, from career advancement to current events to pretty much every possible topic there is to ask about when it comes to law enforcement. By staying in the know when it comes to law enforcement issues overall, across the country, or even just the state next door, you’re prepared if media quiz you about the same issue and you know it may not be a good day to post a certain type of safety tip if there’s been a high-profile crime of the same nature.
The Mashable.com Web site is another great social media resource even though it’s not law-enforcement centric. Though it may seem overwhelming initially and you can easily get sucked into the huge black hole of knowledge that Web site contains, it’s one of the leading social media sites in the world. Their brief articles tell you what updates are coming up on all the different platforms; when they’re coming; how they work and look (even with video how-to’s and screencaptures); and how they can affect your organization.
They also have news stories about current issues affecting social media across all spectrums. It’s not always related to law enforcement, but it’s important to have some knowledge of what’s going on in the social media world even if it’s not specific to your field.
One example of the things I learned from Mashable was that Facebook was planning to make their photos larger on both their site and mobile app. This helped me be prepared when my photos looked different without any heads up from Facebook, which doesn’t always notify its users of any big changes. This change and Mashable’s analysis also told me that photos and videos, i.e. everything visual, are what’s considered important both to Facebook and its users. Good to know because it means I’ll be focusing more on photos and visual for the RPD Facebook page.
All of these sites are just a few of the great ones out there. Feel free to share your own in the comments below. That’s how we all learn from each other!