Social media in the public sector: trends, changes and future considerations

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Social Media

Published on February 18, 2014

Author: Digitaldarren



Trends, changes and future considerations for social media use in the Australian public sector. Annotated presentation delivered at the National Social Media in Government conference in Canberra. Personal views of the author.

Social media and the public sector 2014 Trends, changes and future considerations

• Senior executives beginning to understand the value from social technologies • Social media in public sector is set to come of age • Innovations over previous years now becoming mainstream • Public sector maturing in its ability to demonstrate return-on-investment Social media is not a fad.

Social media is not a fad.

• 910 social media applications registered with US Patent office • Facebook now has 1 billion members, 54% access via mobile • 200m LinkedIn members in 200 countries • 72hrs video uploaded to YouTube each minute • Australians are the biggest users of social media in the world • We spend 81 hours online each month Australians really love social media

Traditional approaches are like vomiting. Public sector approaches to communication are often: • Intrusive (sprays everywhere) • Expensive • Misses the target • Not appreciated by the recipient

Moore’s Law • Growth in technology is exponential • Speed of computer processor will double and price will halve each 18 months • Computers getting better, faster and smaller • Need to keep pace with citizen expectations © @Post-it-Note, via Flickr The speed of technological change is blistering

1956 IBM 305 RAMAC • First “super computer” • Hard drive with 5mb storage • Annual rental $3200,000 (in today’s terms)

Augmented reality on our doorstop • 10,000 Google Glass wearable computers being used in the US • Useful information projected onto eye • Governments adapting to leverage possibilities © Google 2014

Westpac Bank 360 Collins St Earn 5,000 bonus points – walk in now 12 Friends Like Victoria Police Crime Alert Violent assaults up 15% past two weeks Next 500m Tram 109 32 mins to Kew Next 7 mins (Tram 62) Jan Logan Jewellers 90 Collins St Melbourne VIC 3000 (03) 9650 9099 4.5 Yelp star rating Council roadworks next week 142 people reported this pothole

• Now more people aged under 40 than over 40 in Australian workplaces • Have always known internet and are hyperconnected • Moving into decision-making roles • Critical of traditional IT limitations on productivity A generational shift is now taking place

The business of government is getting more complex. Image by David Reimer

© Freemantle Media Trust in politics is at an all-time low…

Most trusted Least trusted 1 Nurses 2 Doctors 16 Public opinion pollsters 17 Company Directors 3 Pharmacists 4 Engineers 18 Financial planners 19 Business Executives 5 School teachers 6 Dentists 20 Newspaper Journalists 21 TV Reporters 7 High Court Judges 8 Supreme Court Judges 22 Talk-back radio announcers 23 Stock brokers 9 Police 10 University lecturers 24 Union leaders 25 Federal MPs 11 Accountants 12 Ministers of Religion 26 Insurance brokers 27 State MPs 13 Bank Managers 14 Lawyers 28 Real Estate Agents 29 Advertising people 15 Public servants 30 Car Salesmen Roy Morgan: Image of Professions 2013 (Australia)

Just one-in-four Australians reported trust in politics in 2013 Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion National Report, Australia 2013

• The role of public servants is getting harder • We are being asked to do more with less • We cant keep taking a 19th Century mindset to deal with 21sr Century problems Something Image © has to give

Social media is changing the nature of public communication: • It’s relatively cheap • Immediate • Extends reach of messages by tapping into existing networks • It’s where people are • Citizens expect it of us

Change in public service Digital Engagement Easier ways to reach people Credit: Demsoc, via Step Gray Less deference to authority

Some public servants successfully use social media to increase their effectiveness Can engage with citizens and still be apolitical Helps build trust and confidence Delivers public value

Enhancing internal collaboration using social networks to engage staff

• Looked at best practices across other organisations • Analysed what users really wanted • Chose to stop treating the intranet as document storage • Useful functionality to make jobs easier So we took a good look around…

To come up with a more nimble • New intranet within 100 days for 10% of cost of others • Used multidisciplinary ‘agile strikeforce’ team • Led by principle: 80% functionality is better than status quo • Built rapid prototype using research, design, test and refine philosophy • Maintained lasersharp focus on deadlines approach

Off-the-shelf saved time and money • Deployed free open-source software to run the intranet • Drupal-based “aGov platform” • Endorsed by Australian Government for security, privacy, etc • Added extra functionality to meet business needs

• Cleaner, modern look • Maximise use of video • Analytics and feedback built into each page • Google search from homepage • Twitter feed • Yammer integration • People can now find things quickly

Aligning tactics to strategy: six-point social media plan

It’s all about the three Rs… and three Ws Research Resources Why Risk Who Where

Let’s start with some research

Grow bigger ears!

Volume of posts over time 600 500 14/11/13: News story triggers peak of activity (358 mentions) 21/11/13: Victorian Government announcement sparks additional interest (578 mentions) 400 300 200 100 0 01.11.13 11.11.13 21.11.13 01.12.13 11.12.13 21.12.13 31.12.13

Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

And there’s plenty of paid services too…

But it can be a bit like black magic • Not all social monitoring tools count the same • Automated sentiment analysis does not work • Need to invest in human intervention too Image by Arbron

Now answer why by setting some objectives

Why “Let’s start a Facebook Page”… WHY? … “because everyone else is!”

Answer who by identifying the audience

Look at where you’ll focus attention

Online mentions by source 6000 5750 92,7% of online content came from Twitter and Facebook 5000 Online channel Share Social Media 83.12% Facebook Groups 2.40% Video 0.08% Forums 1490 2.01% Images 2000 4.92% Blogs 3000 9.59% Traditional News Websites 4000 0.03% 1000 33 0 25 19 17 14 11 11 10

We must also look at risk

Give staff permission, but protect them (and your reputation)

I just found out the greatest secret… Who cares? I hate my boss and work sucks Everyone around me are a bunch of total fools I wanna kill my co-workers How’s this for a massive scandal… I am surrounded by incompetence and insanity! F%*@! I really %#+*&^% these @!&%%$

I just found out the greatest secret… I hate my boss and work sucks Everyone around me are a bunch of total fools Hey everyone! I’m Darren Whitelaw and I work in the Victorian Public Sector How’s this for a massive scandal… I am surrounded by incompetence and insanity! I wanna kill my co-workers F%*@! I really %#+*&^% these @!&%%$

Herald Sun, p3 18 August 2010

“What if we can’t handle the volume!?!”… Steve Mann, via Wikicommons

• Develop a workflow to prioritise posts • Mitigates legal and reputational risk • Ensures a consistent approach across the team Positive What kind of message? Negative Policy Breach

What did they say? Bad things Good things No action needed YES YES Unhappy experience Can you add value? Are the facts correct? NO NO NO YES Thank them for their post Take reasonable steps to fix and explain action’s been taken Trying to be funny Serial pest Are the facts correct? YES Respond with value and visibly share Does it pose a legal risk? Why did they say it? Want to respond? NO Policy Breach Gently correct the facts YES Let post stand and monitor Remove it. Explain. Reply with a reminder on social media rules. NO NO Is the problem being fixed? Explain what YES is being done to correct the issue Will doing something bring more attention than not? YES Monitor NO Will the community police itself? NO YES NO Has the community policed itself within 24 hours YES

But none of this will happen without resources

Social media might be free, but there’s still a cost: • People • Technology • Time • Third-party software or services • Opportunity • Distribution and promotion • Will

And then go back and do it again… Research Resources Why Risk Who Where

Arming for a quick response: how to deliver results whilst minimising risk

Be patient #1 Concept @bryonycole But I want it NOW! Establish and build Engage and grow following Activate audience

Link everything back to strategy #2

#3 Make the investment to listen Simon Krzic via

#4 Educate and train your staff (c) William Gottlieb via Flickr

Dude, where’s the password #5 Image © 20th Century Fox and Alcon Entertainment Be ready any time


Time to wrap up…

Whew! That’s it… Questions? @DarrenWhitelaw

Social tools mentioned at #akosm4gov14 Posting Listening Enterprise Social Network • Facebook • Crowdbooster • Jostle • Facebook advertising • Facebook Insights • Yammer • Hootsuite • Hootsuite • Tibbr • Instagram • Mentionmapp • Zyncro • Radian6 Publish • Radian6 Listen • Stackla • Social Sitter Influence and benchmarking • Storify • Tweetreach • Klout • TripAdvisor • Social Bakers • Tweetdeck Records management • Twitter • Backupify Learning • Vimeo • Social safe • Pictures and Video Website CMS • Flickr • aGov • Pinterest • Drupal • YouTube Hootsuite University Missed any? Let me know: @DarrenWhitelaw

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