Social media engagement for public sector organizations presents some unique challenges, as well as an unprecedented means of effective citizen engagement.
First, the legal, regulatory and political implications of social media postings can have lasting implications requiring proper vetting by the
organization’s leadership and public affairs office. Any public sector social media solution should facilitate a governance process to ensure social media
postings are keeping with organizational goals and policy, as well as in good taste. Recent examples of the need for public sector governance of social
media postings include the British Embassy in Washington, DC perceived to be celebrating the anniversary of the War of 1812, the London Luton Airport seems to make light of a plane crash in Boston, and then there is the often cited #mynypd
fiasco. Much like the Hippocratic Oath requires doctors “to
abstain from doing harm” so must the governance structure for public sector social media ensure postings advance the agency’s mission and instill public
Second, a public sector social media solution should maximize situational awareness by disseminating the results of social media listening activities as
broadly as possible within the organization. Ideally, the solution should include the ability to automatically route social media comments posted about
your agency or organization to the appropriate internal point of contact. For example, a public Facebook post regarding a neighborhood watch program should
be routed automatically to the office within the police department managing that program. Another example would be a public tweet about the state of
affairs in an airport restroom which should be captured and sent to the custodial department at the airport authority. Why? Because modern travelers are
more likely to comment on social media about the issue rather than searching for the custodial department’s telephone number.
Lastly, any social media solution for the public sector should facilitate the management of the agency or organization’s multiple social media properties.
A best practice for public sector social media efforts consists of drawing in stakeholders from various offices throughout the organization whose input
should be considered and adjudicated. Likewise, many agencies have independent departments which may each have their own social media presence. The result
is a plethora of social media properties and stakeholders which typically requires extensive and complicated coordination efforts – a management nightmare.
Any social media solution should have an intuitive interface that facilitates a common look and feel for postings across multiple social media properties.
The solution should also offer a workflow to route proposed postings to stakeholders, and the flexibility to take advantage of the unique capabilities of
each platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other popular social media platform. Another critical system requirement is a
consolidated view of social media metrics across the agency’s various social media properties. Delivering detailed metrics and audience insight through
intuitive and pre-configured dashboards minimizes costly customization and facilitates return on investment measures.
In summary, public sector organizations can achieve many agency goals by harnessing the power of social media, first by establishing a governance regime to
ensure postings “do no harm.” Next agencies can harness the unparalleled power of social media listening through maximal dissemination to ensure critical
situational awareness and responsiveness. Finally, managing social media efforts through appropriate workflows and metrics capture ensures an efficient
means of achieving your agency’s social media goals.
Does your agency have a social media solution capable of handling the rigors of public sector social media engagement and citizen empowerment?
The Oracle Social Cloud Solution
Oracle provides a full suite of intuitive and cost effective social relationship management tools via the Social Cloud. Oracle Social Cloud provides an intuitive and comprehensive solution to transform your
organization’s social media listening, engaging and managing efforts. To maximize your return on investment, Oracle Consulting Services (OCS) can assist
your organization with implementing a social media program specifically tailored to the needs of the public sector. OCS social media analysts and
technologists can assist your organization with social listening, engagement and management whether it is enhancing situational awareness in a 24/7 command
center, fully integrating social media with a 311 system, or coordinating a plethora of social media properties across the organization.
Unleash the power of the social media for your agency today!
Prior to joining Oracle Consulting, the author served as the inaugural Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Open Source (2005-2008).
As such, he was the Intelligence Community’s senior open source intelligence official responsible for Internet/social media monitoring and analysis.