Social media, much used and equally maligned for various reasons, is a fact of everyday life. But depending on your ability and intent to expend resources and time, social media platforms are also one of the most cost-effective ways to build your brand and presence, especially if you’re a local government entity.
For local governments looking to expand their presence beyond traditional media, social media also offers choice. With a plethora of platforms to choose from, each one offers an easy, efficient, and effective means to reach your audience and stakeholders.
Another good reason to take your messaging digital and online is cost savings. Traditional media costs usually involve expenses for producing material for distribution. Building a brand using social media also affords flexibility. You can fine-tune or even overhaul a campaign easily, and at a fraction of a cost of traditional campaigns.
The four major social media platforms have users in the millions and reaching into billions. Indeed, most of these users are not exactly who you might be seeking out, but the critical mass these platforms have built illustrates their reach:
- Facebook – This is the the biggest social media platform in the world, with 2.7 billion active users.
- Instagram – Another mega-platform that focuses on visual content, it has 1 billion active users.
- Twitter – While there are 330 million active users worldwide, more than 20 percent of all U.S. internet users access Twitter at least once per month.
- LinkedIn – This professional networking site has more than 250 million active monthly users. Together, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter drive 90 percent of social traffic to B2B sites and blogs. But more than half of that traffic comes straight from LinkedIn.
The most important part of embracing social media as a branding and messaging tool is the ability to control its messaging that it affords account owners. This is made possible through the analytics and metrics-measuring tools that are accessible by the account owners of respective social media platforms. Google Analytics is another free tool that tracks user data in detail.
In addition, there are many paid analytical tools that are available to provide granular data about the return on investment (time and money).
Local governments and public agencies can tap into the audience that these social media platforms harness through well-thought-out digital strategies made possible by the ability to interpret the analytical data:
- Targeted content – What kind of stories and/or information your followers on these social media accounts want
- Visuals – Which photos and videos evince the most interest
- Interaction – Responding to comments, reactions, and feedback from your audience (followers)
- Timing – When is a good time to reach your audience, and how to maximize the platform’s algorithms to reach the most people
WithersRavenel can help you on your next social media project or on your broader local government digital outreach strategy by not only setting up your social media accounts, but also ensuring high-impact messaging that draws the most engaged followers. Contact Director of Marketing Lena Richards at (828) 255-0313 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started today.