First step in creating your messaging is coming up with your agency’s identity. Spend time talking with your communications team to figure out how the agency plans to communicate online (first person singular, first person plural, etc.), do you plan on using an abbreviations, are you ghost writing posts on behalf of a person, or as yourself from their accounts?
@MayorSmith: Thanks for coming out and supporting the opening of the new police station
@MayorSmith: Thanks for expressing your concern, @anyone. We’ll look into it -TP
All of these will affect the way your content comes across.
No matter how you choose to represent your agency, be consistent. Changing your style often will drive a wedge between you and your community as they will not know what to expect from you, or even who they are communicating with. In community transparency is key, even if it’s only perceived transparency.
How you talk about events/politics
Identify things you can and cannot say online (personal information, sensitive data, responding to certain topics). Be careful to not endorse a candidate, instead say “be sure to vote.”
Promoting outside content
Successful social media incorporates content from outside of your organization as well. Use your social media accounts to promote events and articles (that your agency can endorse) that your audience finds useful, relevant and engaging. For offices in public health, during flu season, this could be as simple as sharing a video from Sesame Street found on YouTube on the importance of handwashing.
By sharing a mixture of content from a variety of sources allows your office to share the burden of content creation while also having enough content to maintain enough posted content to stay in from of your audience.
*Tip: Consider building out a list of responses to frequently asked questions to maintain consistency in response. This will also reduce the amount of time it takes to respond and will foster a better relationship with your community.