Social media backbone for state and local effectiveness
This guest blog is the third in a series by analysts at Market Connections Inc., Cynthia Poole, Director of Research Services, and Melissa Burgess, Research Analyst. In an effort to bring our customers the best current market intelligence available, Deltek and Market Connections Inc. collaborated on data sharing and analysis for our recent social media in state and local government report. Be sure to check out Market Connections Inc. for more information on their services and their own social media report.
As we have discussed in our previous post, the use of social media by state and local governments can be highly effective for directly engaging with citizens, as well as providing education and access to key resources. By embracing a multidirectional effort, state and local governments can obtain key crowd-sourced information and offer a 360-degree approach to engaging with citizens.
But can state and local governments use social media that is directly tied to program effectiveness and outcomes? We believe the answer to this question is “yes.”
While many government communications executives value the power of social media for enhancing brand awareness and getting out the right messages – often by bypassing traditional media outlets – there is more they can do to ensure program effectiveness.
In the traditional business world, we are seeing sales lead generation as a key objective for social media outreach. This new approach allows companies to validate their investment in social media because it is directly tied to business growth. State and local governments can apply this same thinking to their social media outreach, making it more measurable and, therefore, easier to justify when budget time rolls around.
State and local government can branch out beyond the use of social media as a public relations tool by developing new and innovative programs. Here are some examples:
· Development of web apps that allow citizens to enjoy discounts on public transportation
· Creation of online communities for sharing social services information
· Development of online seminars that focus on preventative health measures for underprivileged citizens
· Launch of 311 apps that allow citizens to report issues (i.e., bulk trash pick up, pot holes, crime, downed power lines) to the city
These are all programs that can be managed completely online and outcomes can be fully tracked. For example, beyond gaining user feedback on apps, citizens can provide qualitative and quantitative feedback on all of these services through the use of simple surveys or polls. Many research tools can be built directly into the apps, with the results available to government decision-makers via an interface that’s as easy to use as Google Analytics.
These new solutions are examples of key social and mobile-based technologies that can actually enhance overall government performance.
Although we tend to look at government from a different perspective than the business world, every organization needs to show positive outcomes, especially during times of austerity, and social media can be a driver to achieve program effectiveness.