I had lunch today with Bill Greeves, CIO of Wake County, North Carolina, and author of "Social Media in the Public Sector Field Guide." As we were talking about the use of social media in government, we could not think of any really clear examples where a public sector organization has cited specific, demonstrable results from the use of social media (other than maybe CDC, who puts their metrics out there for all to see - and even then, it's just pageviews, followers, fans, etc. and not directly connected to mission impact).
For instance, do you know of any organizations that have:
- Run a strategic social media campaign that aimed at hitting a specific number of pageviews, document downloads, or some other clear metric that would indicate successful, increased dissemination of information to the public?
- Achieved cost savings from the conversion of print or some other communication mode to social media?
- Tracked the number of people reached via social media and did some analysis to show an overall increase in web traffic, improved SEO or some other indicator of increased awareness?
- Increased access to services by numbers of people served that cited social media as the referral source?
- Decreased time to answer for citizens seeking information?
- Improved a service or process based on citizen feedback that led to substantial cost savings?
I am sure you can think of more...but you see what I am getting at: real, demonstrable impact from social media use by government (vs. increase in followers or fans, number of comments / RTs / @ replies, etc.)
Thanks for sharing what you know from your agency or others!
Griff - Share 'em if you got 'em!
Last December, King County in Seattle, Wash., drove national media coverage in the New York Times, CNN and Huffington Post alongside nearly 30,000 interactions on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Storify. In three days, we sparked 10X the engagement than we see during a typical month, and we issued 623 marriage licenses to same-sex couples---a typical day sees between 50-100 licenses issued.
I recently presented this case study at a Word of Mouth Marketing Association conference in Seattle, and you can view the slide deck here: http://slidesha.re/Y33tt7.
On the night of Dec. 6, 2012, one month after Washington State voters approved same-sex marriage, King County opened the Recorder's Office for a special midnight ceremony that ushered in a new era of civil rights. In doing so, King County became the first jurisdiction in the country to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on voter approval.
Happy couples young and old, many of whom had waited decades for this moment, braved the chilly night to become a part of American history. Learn how King County blended traditional and social media to connect with participants, drive news coverage, and emcee a once-in-lifetime event that reimagined how a community engages with local government.
Social Media Results:
To put this event in context, here is a comparison of Marriage Equality Day next to the Nov. 6, 2012 general election*, which was a pretty big month for us in terms of social media mentions.
This was a resounding success for us, and we built tremendous goodwill both with the local community and members of the news media we work with regularly. You can see in the box above that only 1,200 of the 30,000 interactions were mentions of our Twitter handle. Those kind of mentions do not automatically equal success. We used social media to communicate with the hundreds of people waiting in line on their smartphones, and we got people talking to each other, telling their own stories and sharing their own content. That's what social media is all about.
I'd love to talk more about this event and our use of social media if anyone is interested. Please feel free to send me an email.
Social Media Specialist, King County