One of the top questions I get from agencies around the country exploring the possibility of using social media is how much time does it take? That question usually leads to another, like how many people manage it? Others don't think they have the resources to handle it. I tell all agencies, any department no matter how big or small can have employees on staff that can handle social media.
Most agencies have a Web site. Most agencies have someone who writes their releases. If that's the case, then most have the ability to manage social media. Here in Boca Raton
, I handle the bulk of the social media management. Throughout the day, I sign on to Facebook
and check for comments or questions. For Twitter
, I leave TweetDeck
open on my computer and check in throughout the day. If there are new press releases or articles to put on our Web page, I take the extra five minutes to also post on Facebook and tweet it out.
One of the problems for most agencies is managing the social media accounts after hours or on weekends. This is a continuing concern for many. We, right up front on our sites, have a disclaimer basically saying the social media sites are not monitored 24/7 and any and all crime related issues should be directed to 911 or our dispatch center. With the advent of smart phones it does make it easier to manage those accounts after hours. With a couple of touches of the screen on my phone I can see if anyone posted or commented on anything. If not, no time lost, if they did, I respond. Again, hardly anytime taken.
Social media management is not as difficult as most think. It does take someone who is computer and Internet savvy, and it does help to have someone who knows and likes social media.
Just make sure if you are posting a comment you have the correct account open. Nothing would be more embarrassing than making a comment you thought was on your personal page but was sent over your agency site. More on that at a later date.