Do you think cities should be on social media? City of #princegeorge deactivates Facebook and Twitter accounts http://t.co/9e9BYfCTW2
— CBC Daybreak North (@daybreaknorth) July 18, 2013
This morning I chimed in on the above twitter conversation. The City of Prince George had announced its decision to temporarily suspend or render dormant, both their Facebook and twitter accounts. They announced that they are currently reviewing their use of social media and during this assessment phase, they are basically unplugging from social media.
At this point, we do not know if the severed connection will be permanent or only temporary, but over 2000 thousand facebook fans (many of which are probably residents of Prince George) are left wondering, “why?”.
What would be the purpose of unplugging during this time of review? Certainly there are analytics that they can use whilst still being engaged with their community?
Did something happen? (wild speculation abounds)
I am wondering…..will their evaluation delve into what the value of the Social Media engagement was to subscribers? What the consequences of unplugging will be?
I am not familiar with either of the City of Prince George social media accounts, but certainly there would be many of the 2000+ fans who checked the site regularly for information. Where do they go for that information now? The city website?
Good luck with that.
The success of any social media account is tied to engagement. Engagement is not a one-way stream of information: it is sharing information, providing feedback. It is the realization that you need to give in order to get.
Engage. Inform. Retweet.
Three little words: so very powerful in mastering social media.
Facebook and twitter should not be used simply as a bulletin board to announce the next Farmer’s Market, or Town Hall budget meeting – otherwise you should abandon it in favour of a piece of bristol board and a permanent marker.
Why? Why abandon such an important conduit for communication? A system that can assist you in:
· Early warning in case of local emergency
· Local event/tourism promotion
· Getting feedback via survey links
· Authentic, real time engagement on local issues
· Acting as a portal for the community
Case in point. Can anyone truly quantify the tremendously important and positive role that social media played in the crisis in Southern Alberta? Mayor Nenshi and his superior command of twitter helped facilitate a Herculean effort by his community following the flooding.
Lots of business owners in flood-damaged neighbourhoods are still hurting. Make a plan to eat and shop there this week!
— Naheed Nenshi (@nenshi) July 17, 2013
@nenshi help High River get info out. #abfloods #highriver http://t.co/QyRqMaWvkr
— TownOfHighRiver (@TownOfHighRiver) July 15, 2013
Don't forget, blue bin collection back to normal this week! Only items IN the bin will be collected, as always. Store extra or depot!
— Naheed Nenshi (@nenshi) July 8, 2013
Followers looked to him for guidance, for assistance, for information.
My question after learning of the City of Prince George decision: Why would any community deliberately sever that important conduit of communication?