When it comes to law enforcement, most of us are divided into the sworn and civilian categories. But when it comes to social media, there’s another title that those of us who do the work should consider: community manager
After reading this article (http://mashable.com/2013/01/27/community-manager-qualities/
), it got me thinking that the same characteristics that apply to social media managers in business also apply to those of us who run the social media accounts for police agencies.
The key to success is realizing that it’s about community interaction, not just understanding how to use the technology.
People often ask what type of employee should run a department’s social media sites. Well, take a look at some of characteristics suggested from this article because I’d say the same thing should be true for a police department:
Strong Communications Skills.
Without a doubt, this is key because you need to know how to talk with a variety of people in different ways, especially when you’re talking about and to crime victims. You also need to know when to say something, when to say silent, as well as what the best platform is to communicate your message, i.e., photo, video, text.
This one’s pretty obvious. At least I hope it is.
Sometimes no matter what you do or say, people just won’t be happy. And it’s really hard not to take it personally. But having empathy will greatly help you manage your social media sites when you can understand where the other person is coming from.
I think this trait goes right with empathy and my fellow blogger, Lynn Hightower, said not too long ago that you have to have a thick skin in this business, especially when it comes to social media comments, and she’s absolutely right. Many people feel empowered to write some pretty mean comments online because they feel they can be somewhat anonymous. As this article states, you have to remind yourself that the comments aren’t about you personally.
Dedication and Passion.
It all comes down to this. You have to want to use social media and be committed to doing it, even if you weren’t initially. Because if you’re not passionate about what you do, how can you communicate to others that they should be?