You’ve brought up an excellent discussion, and I hope that this question will make people think. As private individuals, we can do whatever we want with the Social Media tools out there – and most of us do. We tweet, and status update, and rant and rave, all over the place. However, as businesses, agencies, and official entities, I cannot stress enough how much we really need to have a strategy in place.
The question you pose can be answered very simply by keeping in mind the purpose and use of each type of tool. I really loathe going to a blog site and seeing a one-line post. I also get really annoyed by the tweet-feeds that post an ongoing commentary (delivered right to my cell phone) of 52 consecutive tweets to get the word out about what is happening at some event.
Tweeting (or any other text/mobile alert system) should be used to get out current alerts and notifications of happenings. I still hold to the rule of up to 2 – 3 per day. Unless of course, the purpose of the Twitter account is to post emergency bulletins and/or procedures, such as local Police and Rescue departments tweeting about accidents and responses.
Blogging (or any other type of online-article posting system) should be used to post lengthier discussions or recaps of current changes, policies, opinions, hot-topics, and more. By nature, they should be probing and disclosing. Blog posts should be informative and as complete as possible.
These tools should be used hand-in-hand, in conjunction with each other, and not instead of each other.
Facebook (or any other integrated, online community – such as GovLoop) should be a forum in which both short updates and lengthier discussions, including informal discussions (such as this one), or more formal blogs, or super formal articles can all come together and be a full-fledged resource and interactive foundation for any community.
I know I put a lot of “should”s in the above, but obviously this is just how I see these tools and their potential uses. I am not saying that’s how they are currently used, or that there’s any law, obviously. However, I do believe that uses of public tools are much different by official entities, than private citizens. We all wear both hats, so it’s also important that we keep in mind which hat we’re wearing, and when. That awareness might also help to guide the potential uses of Social Media tools.
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