RON VINSON (ART+DATA) Institute Fellow & Director of Media, Dept. of Technology for the City of San Francisco.
The city of San Francisco is one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world. The city is famous for its individuality and lively civic engagement. The (ART+DATA) Institute Fellow Ron Vinson shared some of his social media lessons at a recent event at technology giant Salesforce, headquartered in the downtown San Francisco. Here is a summary of his comments:
1. THE IMPORTANCE OF DIALOG.
The City of San Francisco launched a Facebook Page, and within 24 hours, nearly 125,000 joined. Cities need an open digital media forum.
2. WELCOME ALL PERSPECTIVES.
Positive or negative, let thoughts come from all directions. Welcome diverse opinions.
3. LET CONVERSATION FLOW.
Enable the conversation, then get out of the way. Monitor your social pages and profiles, but let the conversation flow freely.
4. EASE THE ENGAGEMENT.
San Francisco residents send their city government pictures of graffiti or traffic issues via various Twitter apps. Make it easy for your residents to report, share and contact.
5. USE ANALYTICS TO UNDERSTAND CITIZENS.
San Francisco studies data science. Using analytics, the City can know that 25% of their social media community doesn’t live within the city. Some live outside the U.S., but their voices count as fans of the city. Know your citizens.
6. SOCIAL MEDIA DRIVES CUSTOMER SERVICE.
The City uses digital media as a customer service outlet in order to meet residents where they are.
Anytime, Anywhere communication of needs.
7. CONTINUALLY ENCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT.
Consider contests, quizzes, games and other attention-grabbing, sharable approaches to social media in order to grow your community.
8. USE DIGITAL MEDIA CHANNELS WITH PURPOSE.
The City and County of San Francisco uses YouTube to share government meetings, Facebook for conversations, Twitter for updates and response, etc. Consider the uses of each social channel and ensure they serve a purpose.
9. MAKE GOVERNMENT HUMAN.
Use social media to make your government feel more accessible and familiar. While an official government website needs to feel official, social media provides a more personable outlet.
10. KEEP YOUR CITIZENS INFORMED.
Use your social channels to keep your city informed in real time. San Francisco responds and posts constantly in order to provide updates of what’s happening around the city.