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Social Networks in Public Administration and Local Development

Social Networks in Public Administration and Local Development

The high level of acceptance and dissemination that social networks have achieved in recent years has meant a revolution that has culminated with the consolidation of a communication channel more powerful than traditional media such as Television or print media, and therefore not in the same poses a big mistake. Public administrations are facing the challenge of harnessing the potential of social networks to connect its stakeholders - citizens, visitors, workers and companies in the territory, etc...

The great revolution that has brought social media focuses on two-way communication that the user can interact with the issuer of the message, is what is known as Web 2.0, a concept in constant evolution. Another great advantage to the user is that you choose which information you want to receive. And of course the sender of the message may have great impact through the creation of content in an easy and simple way and a subsequent diffusion or spread in networks.

What I Can Do On Social Networks For My Public Administration?

Building an online strategy

There are countless social media and within each half hundreds of networks. It is important to know that social media we have and within them which can help us to connect with our audience.

Blogging

A Blog, also called blog for his resemblance to a newspaper, is nothing more than a (CMS) content management system based on articles (commonly called post) that are displayed in chronological order. Blogs originally included other features such as the ability to comment or subscribe to the new post and the comments of others as well as a wide variety of widgets and plugins - external elements developed by third parties, usually in html or javascript code. Blogging has advanced and today thanks to platforms such as Blogger or Wordpress can create hybrids between pages (with information in query or static) and Blogs (with news articles).

The Blog can be placed at the top of the social marketing strategy since through them you can manage and distribute content of the majority of social media through embedding code in articles. Thus we can share an album in Picasa or Flickr or a video from Youtube or Vimeo. The Blog is also a to encourage our fans to share thanks to the existing social plugins. Thus if we wrote a Post about a day of hiking which organizes our city this can be disseminated directly through social networks known by our readers.

Blog by definition is a dynamic and participatory means so you have to define aspects such as the update period, themes are going to and something very important which collaborations can establish in the allowing the involvement of agents of the territory in it.

Microblogging

Micro-blogging is a form of blogging limited to 140 characters. The best known Microblogging platform is Twitter but there are others such as Menéame or Tumblr that also have large number of users. The great advantage is the ease of use and immediacy in the reception of the information they offer. They also supported video and photos, allowing you to reinforce the content.

One of the advantages that offers Microblogging is to see first hand who our supporters are and interact with them through messages. The possibility of direct contact allows that we ensure ourselves that our campaigns are going to get through message to those supporters who may be interested.

Social networks

A Social network is no more than a web space in which users interact directly with other users, you can share an emotional bond (family, friends, etc), professional and even hobbies setting. In the case that concerns us, the public administrations, the most powerful social network is Facebook. Through a profile or a page we can connect with more than 2000 million users that has this network around the world.

Creating events is one of the most useful features to connect action offline with online actions, and we can say without fear of being wrong is one of the cornerstones of a correct strategy of marketing online in the public administration. Private messages are allowed as well as micro-blogging.

Another of the most popular networks is Google +, with similar features that allow you to connect a single account to all the services Google Picassa or You Tube. The latter presents very interesting functionality as it is Hang Out, allowing to hold live meetings with our followers.

Social networks based on Multimedia files

A number of networks there are environment to multimedia files, from video - Youtube or Vimeo - platforms, images - Picasa, Flickr, Pinterest or Instagram - podcast - ivoxx or itunes - or presentations - SlideShare. These networks allow you to share specific content user. One of the drawbacks, especially in the case of the video is the cost associated with the production, however one of the advantages of these media is its high viral, more than the other networks, especially in those who are based in audiovisual format.

Advantages and disadvantages of the use of social media in the public administration

Then we will see the advantages and disadvantages that involves the use of social media in the public administration. Some are common problems that must try to correct and that tend to recur with regularity.

Advantages or benefits derived from the use of social media

  • Social media are a direct channel between administration and citizens allowing them to disseminate specific information of interest to them, constituting an opportunity to obtain feedback thanks to the possibilities of interacuacion which allows also due to bidirectionality.
  • Of social media globalization means that our news, events, etc. can have one impact more than the local.
  • Thanks to the large number of social media we can find one that fits our needs. blogs, microblogs, social networks, professional networks, bookmarking, forums and even virtual spaces as Second Life. It is important for the Manager to choose in that media should be present.
  • Reinforcement of the image of the brand of the territory.
  • Reduced investment from traditional media. One of the big advantages is its ease of use, although it is recommended to create a social media plan that guide the management in its media strategy.

Disadvantages, or disadvantages arising from the use of social media

  • The information must be relevant and not pay linked to confusion or upset of the citizens, is sometimes difficult to separate the merely institutional what is interesting for our users. Social networks in Administration should not become a purely institutional channel.
  • The little initial impact that can have the strategy among the followers can lead to the abandonment of social networks. A way to avoid it is to leave the elaboration of the plan of social environment, implementation and assessment in the hands of professionals.
  • To take advantage of social media presence online must be complemented with actions offline. No point in creating a tourist profile on social networks if it is not complemented with actions offline.
  • A proper strategy in social networks should be associated with an online marketing strategy that goes beyond the creation and updating of profiles.
  • Either by the establishment of filters by our followers or that it is unlikely that all our followers are connected at the same time to see a tweet. The measurement of the real impact is very important. Control of statistics to measure the effectiveness can be expensive and tedious, although there are programs that make this a simple task...

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