Is your agency struggling with what to post on social media? What social media platforms to be on? Or maybe you aren't on social media at all and are struggling with where to begin? In this episode, former NYPD Social Media Director Yael Bar tur will give you actionable tips and strategies to do social media effectively.
If you're not telling your story on social media, someone else is – Let's face it, social media is full of disinformation. This often prevents law enforcement agencies from getting involved in social media in an effort to avoid the nonsense altogether. But here's the problem with that – we all know that citizens make (often incorrect) assumptions about what we do. If you're not sharing the facts and presenting yourself as the single source of truth, then you can most certainly expect a false narrative to occur during your next major incident.
There is no single magic bullet social media platform – Should you just be on Facebook? What about Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat? Or even the newcomers Parler and MeWe? Facebook is still the single largest social media platform ever – and likely will continue to be – but ultimately, your goal isn't to be on ALL social platforms. Instead, identify what platforms most of your community is using and prioritize those. If you are policing a college town, you should probably be on Instagram. If your community is largely conservative, you may want to be on Parler and MeWe.
Having a content plan will make the task of posting on social media seem much less daunting – Have a plan laid out for what types of content you will post and the frequency which you will post them. Set up a calendar and follow through with your plan. A dormant social media account can do you more damage than not having one at all. There are numerous tools out there to help with scheduling and syndicating your content such as Hootsuite and HeroPost.
Resources discussed on the show
- Should Cops Be Tweeting About Protests – by Yael Bar tur
- Social Media Audit – Yael's 45-Minute Social Media Audit
- Hootsuite – social media management software
- HeroPost – social media management software
About Yael Bar tur
Yael Bar-tur is an expert in digital communications, strategy, content creation, crisis management and decentralized messaging.
Between 2014-2020 she served as the Director of Social Media and Digital Strategy for the New York City Police Department (NYPD), where she created and oversaw the Department's command social media outreach, providing strategy, guidance and training for over 200 official NYPD accounts.
Yael served in the Israeli Army as a foreign press liaison in the height of two wars, as well as volunteering for reserve duty at the Israeli field hospital in Haiti immediately following the 2010 earthquake. She holds a Master's Degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she wrote her thesis on police use of social media and returns annually as a guest lecturer on social media for the public sector.