It’s difficult to keep up with the newest social media trends; just when you think you know the most important sites available to communicate with the public, new ones pop up. There are currently no less than 70 networking sites deemed federal-compatible for government use, making the possibilities somewhat overwhelming.
The increase of social media platforms on the scene reiterates how important it is to have a robust digital communications strategy as a backbone. As new social media platforms come and go, having a good mix of digital communication tactics like email, text messaging/SMS, a strong website, as well as social media will ensure you never have any gaps reaching your audience on a platform they’re comfortable with using.
GSA made two new additions to their approved list of platforms recently, Tint and CrowdHall. As a government communicator, you may be wondering if these social media networks will stand the test of time. Are they worth considering as another tool to add to your multichannel strategy toolbox? We’ve put together more information on both sites, designed to make it easier to manage your digital community, to help you make that decision.
CrowdHall: A public place to meet and discuss online
CrowdHall is making it easier than ever for public officials to have live and interactive discussions with the public. With CrowdHall, an organization can hold virtual town hall meetings via the host’s web page, Facebook, or directly on CrowdHall’s site. The audience votes on questions or topics, letting the host know the significance of the topic to the group. After participants have added their questions, they are notified when the host has answered and the crowd can continue to comment on each topic.
Unlike previous online town hall options available, Crowdhall allows the organization hosting the event to answer with photos, video, or text supporting their answer. Participants can return to the meeting and see what the crowd decided were the most significant issues. The participants are empowered by the experience of a town hall where they have a voice in ranking the most important issues and moderate their own discussions. Instead of talking “at” your audience, you can engage “with” your audience in an effective two-way conversation—a handy tool for many government organizations looking for another way to engage with their stakeholders.
Tint: Compile your social media posts into one visual display
Tint makes it possible for you get the most out of all of your social media sites by putting them in one place. You sign up and create what visually can be compared to one “Pinterest-looking” page that displays highlights from all of your social media sites. The posts can be organized by hashtag or you can dictate exactly which images, words, or videos are displayed.
Since everyone has a different social preference, Tint is a great way to grab your audience via their preferred social network and keep them engaged. Tint also allows you to embed social feeds into your website, providing visitors with the most up-to-date and engaging information—another way to extend the life of your social media posts. You also have access to analytics that can help you determine your most popular social networks and posts to better assess what information to display for your audience.
Although some social media sites may disappear before the majority of the public can even think to login, keep new networks that may help you strengthen your stakeholder connections on your radar, with a strong multichannel digital strategy in your back pocket as well. By using new communication tools to connect with new loyal audience members, you can also cross-promote your website and email messages to those new audience members to strengthen that connection and make sure they’re never missing out on any important messages.
Do you think you’ll use CrowdHall or Tint? What other new technology are you thinking of implementing in your organization? Let us know in the comments below!