In 2014, BDO’s Local Government surveyed UK Local Authorities and found that 100% were using Twitter and 90% were using Facebook. But just how effectively are Local Authorities using social media to deliver against their key objectives?
Local Authorities who use social media well can reduce costs and increase engagement with the local public, providing a great channel to keep people informed of key local news and issues. Effectively used, social media can reduce the amount of calls into a Local Authorities customer service centre, therefore reducing call volume and staff time. Correctly used, it will also reduce the time and cost traditionally spent on writing traditional press releases.
An example a Local Authority using social media in this way is The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Their Communications Team use @RBKC and the Customer Access Team use @RBKC_CS, but they work closely with the Communications Team to ensure the tone and messaging of all outbound content is appropriate. If a question to either account is service specific the Teams work with the service directly to find the answer
Westminster City Council have digitalised their parking permit application process to enable customers to self-serve and the Council has created two simple YouTube videos to guide customers through the process both at home and at local libraries (if they do not have access to the internet).
London Borough of Bromley; Join, Maybe, Decline In the summer of 2012 Bromley spent £337.95 creating targeted Facebook adverts for their summer parks events. While the advert was initially targeted at young people in the Borough, officers were surprised to see parents were talking about and sharing the events in their Facebook accounts. Average event attendance increased from 58 per day in the previous year to 179 per day in 2012 and they saw an increase in total attendance from 863 to 6541 overall.
If you are a Local Authority, ensure that you are following these basic rules, across your social media channels:
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