Social media is a bigger part of our everyday lives than ever, but there are still organisations and teams worried about using it or only reluctantly online. This hesitation often comes down to trust within the organisation, fears of reputational risk, or not having a robust social media policy.
We have recently rebuilt and relaunched MusterPoint to better meet the needs of those who work in the public sector, emergency services and regulated industries. We've updated our features, improved the look and feel and made it fully mobile with our iOS and Android apps.
Across the public sector there’s common blockers raised within organisations around using social media for communications, customer contact, or service delivery. These can stop teams in their tracks, or mean they fall short of finding the potential online for their organisations. These are some of the common problems we’ve found working in and with the public sector, and how we can help solve them or you can start to challenge them within your organisation.
Some of your staff may be very confident social media users personally, but that doesn’t mean they know how to manage a public sector account day-to-day or in a crisis. You need to be sure updates and replies are appropriate and well managed. MusterPoint has a training mode for anyone who needs to prove their skills or is nervous and wants a bit of reassurance. Their updates are approved by someone else before they are published giving everyone confidence and helping to build capability within your team.
Multiple people can access Twitter accounts and Facebook Pages and that’s really useful for sharing the load but how do you know who has sent an update or replied to an enquiry? Can you remember how many people you’ve shared your passwords with or if the person who has now left can still post to your accounts? MusterPoint makes it very easy to allow individuals and teams to access the social media accounts they need and have permissions revoked when they leave your organisation. At a glance you can see which users have the ability to access which accounts. If there’s an emergency or things change it is very simple to update the permissions to suit the situation. With one click you can disable access so nothing goes out if you don't want it to.
If we could make more hours in the day for you, we would. Instead we’ve worked very hard to create a simple to use platform that makes it easy to schedule social media updates, bulk upload posts, keep track of posts that need replies, who they are assigned to and report on your social media activity. You can easily triage and deal with urgent things first and delegate anything you don’t have time for. We also offer media management as well as social media management so you can do both from the same platform.
Our extensive public sector experience means we know what budgets are like and how important value for money is. MusterPoint is incredibly cost effective, and compares very favourably to other social media management tools. It is also the only one that is specifically designed with the public sector in mind. You can sign up now for a free trial and view our pricing plans here.
We know that many public sector workers still aren’t confident users of social media, but it is now an essential communication tool that can’t be ignored. We offer regular training sessions, share best practice from our other clients, and highlight good work that we see. MusterPoint makes it easy for social media management to be a team effort. Our simple to use column format allows you to quickly get to grips with managing multiple social media accounts and clearly see who is doing what. We’d also recommend that you do spend a bit of time on Facebook and Twitter to see how people use them and get ideas for your organisation. Perhaps try following some of your partners or similar organisations to yours for inspiration and reassurance.
Every aspect of work in the public sector is subject to scrutiny and social media is no different. All actions in MusterPoint have a date, time and user stamp on them so there’s a full audit trail. You can easily see who sent a post or reply, who posts have been assigned to, when, and when they were dealt with. For each user you can see the posts they have sent and how long they took to reply to posts assigned to them - this information can be exported for reports or performance reviews.You also have the ability to tag posts with any categories that make sense to your organisation, allowing you to easily report on volume of enquiries and spot trends over time.
You’ve probably got something in HR and IT usage policies that talks about social media and that’s a good place to start. If you don’t have a policy or if you have one that’s more than a couple of years old it is worth writing one or revising your current guidance. We’ve created some tips to help you. Whether you have a policy or not, your customers, clients, staff and others will be talking about you on social media. Getting a policy and a social media management strategy in place are vital.
Without a management tool and clear strategy it is hard to see how effective social media is. Your social media activity should be tied to your overall communications strategy. MusterPoint allows you to export data on how your social media accounts are growing and the engagement levels with your posts. You also have the ability to create and monitor tags - these are internal tags that can’t be seen by people outside of the MusterPoint platform. You could use them to monitor the sentiment of enquiries, track posts related to particular departments and the success of campaigns. Data helps you to analyse what you are currently doing, how effective it is, and can provide you with the information you need to ask for an increase in budget or staffing levels.
Not having a well-managed social media presence is also a big reputational risk. Without a structure and process in place you lose the ability to monitor what is being said about your organisation, myth-bust - especially in times of crisis, and share important messages with the widest possible audience. 90% of the US online population use Facebook as do a high percentage of the online population in the UK, Italy, Australia and Spain. Around 50% in the UK and US use Twitter. If you leave a vacuum someone else will fill it and be talking about you, your services, and incidents you’re dealing with. MusterPoint allows you to control who uses your social media channels, put safeguards in place while users are getting up to speed, and have a full audit trail of activity. The majority of our clients are public sector organisation who care very much about their reputation.
Safe and effective social media management is a good way to protect your reputation.