Contributed blog by Sarah Rihaly, Content Manager at Government Social Media
Tired of the same type of posts on your agency’s social media accounts? Whether it’s creative block, trouble getting approval for a new project or other potential roadblocks you face as a government social media professional, we have a quick list of ideas on how to spruce up your agency’s social media content you can start incorporating today:
This isn’t always easy to do! But, it’s useful to try something new and expand how you’re communicating. Here are a few of the many different techniques you could try incorporating into your agency’s social media:
Trying something new can look many more ways than just the few mentioned above! It can even look like consulting an expert on how to pronounce your city, like this recent post from City of Carrollton, Texas:
Sprucing up your agency’s social media doesn't just mean adding new content pieces to your calendar — it also means giving a facelift to the content you already have.
Do you find yourself using the same words over and over again? Concerned you might sound too much like a government agency? While keeping to your agency’s approved tone and voice is important, it’s also important to not get completely stuck repeating the same message with the same words (especially if your audience isn’t consuming the information).
Downloading writing assistants like Grammarly or ProWritingAid can help review grammar, style choices and even your tone to see what different word combinations seem more friendly, serious or whatever tone you need to match your message. Keep in mind, there’s a time and place for certain stylistic choices like humor, puns or snark. Always ask: If you were a member of your community reading this, how would you respond? If you’re waffling even slightly on a stylistic choice, get a second (or third) opinion prior to publishing, and always be on the lookout for out-of-the-box examples of using voice like in this post from Southlake DPS:
Think about taking another look at your agency’s pool of photography and graphics — what could use a refresh? Besides your in-house or freelancer images, you can also use stock photos as well (but make sure to always double check the rights) from sources like Pixabay or Unsplash.
It’s also important to ensure the photos you use are representative of your entire community. Take steps to diversify your photo library of real photos from your community for the most authentic representation, but if you want to diversify your photos now, some of our members recommend using sites like Nappy and Pexels or Canva’s Natural Women Collection. Also, always ensure your designs are as accessible as possible. Read through these resources for helpful tips: How to design for government social media; 3 top tips: Engaging & accessible social media webinar
Again, easier said than done, but, breaking down those barriers can help stop the scroll, and as you know, when that happens, your message is more likely to be heard. How can you creatively communicate important messages so that they’re heard? Take the City of Wichita Falls, Texas social media where they used visualization to explain this potentially life-saving message:
The best source of inspiration is through each other! See what others in the government social media profession — and in your own backyard — are creating and saying. While we never condone plagiarism, it is OK to use ideas as a jumping off point or as inspiration:
Pro tip: Joining groups like our GSM Community on Facebook or GSM network (both free!) are great ways to get inspired, see what others are doing and genuinely ask questions and crowdsource ideas for your agency’s social media.
Best communicate with the public you serve by becoming a part of the free Government Social Media network — only available to full/part-time employees of government or educational institutions.
We support the largest network of government social media professionals in the U.S. by guiding government agencies through complex social media issues. Government Social Media helps you successfully communicate with the public you serve, protect your agency and keep public trust while finding your support community.