Contributed blog by Ariana Donley, Social Media Manager at Government Social Media
Being new to any job or industry can be overwhelming, especially in a specific niche like government social media. This world of government social media is incredibly unique and comes with very specific challenges that often can’t be quickly or clearly solved by your favorite search engine. And, what’s more, you may be the only one at your agency dealing with these obstacles.
It may comfort you to know that here at GSM, you’re known as a “socialgov” and you’re part of a large, resilient community that’s here to help!
Enjoy this roundup of resources to help you find your bearings, best practices and ways to build your important community of fellow govies who handle social media. Welcome to government social media!
The Government Social Media (GSM) network is a free, private network hosted via Mighty Networks, and only open to full/part-time employees of government and educational institutions. Through the GSM network you can connect with other government social media communicators via direct messaging and post questions, articles or just your thoughts in general to the network at large.
A major benefit of joining is to participate in a bi-weekly Government Social Media Chat (GSMChat)! In this text-based chat, we’ll work through specific challenges, talk with others facing the same issues in real time and learn something new.
Once you join the network, you can view these recaps from some recent GSMChat discussions:
GSM professional association
If you want to get even more out of the network, there’s a hidden area reserved just for members of the GSM professional association. The association was established in 2015 and made history as the first professional association for public sector social media professionals! We also went international this year to include Canada memberships.
Through the association, members can connect with each other via direct messaging and post content visible only to other members. You’ll also get access to special “spaces” with other members working in the same region to collaborate on regional-specific topics and enjoy quarterly regional meetups hosted by GSM Membership Council representatives.
Access exclusive, member-only webinars each month, including the SocialGov Roundup series designed to share the latest social media news in under 30 minutes or a webinar on a specific topic plus Q&A. Can’t attend a live webinar? No sweat. Members can also access available recordings, complete with closed captioning.
More than 500 people are currently members! Plus, the association is the most economical of its kind with dues just $79 per year. Once you view the eligibility requirements and join the association, you can access the resources listed below.
2023 observance calendar
Overwhelmed by empty spaces on your content calendar? We’ve got you covered! This free 2023 Observance Calendar Roundup from Team GSM is interactive and downloadable. It features daily, weekly and monthly observances throughout the year and has space for you to jot down your own notes.
Private Facebook Group
If Facebook is your preferred way of networking, connect with us in a private group called the Government Social Media Community. At the time of this blog, the group features more than 6,700 members interested in government social media. It’s a great resource for asking questions specific to government social media, and you’ll find conversations around the First Amendment, contacting social networks and much more. When you request to join, make sure to review and agree to the group rules.
The largest social media conference for government!
Each year, government social media communicators get together at the Government Social Media Conference (GSMCON) to get the latest training in the industry and enjoy unique networking opportunities both during the conference and after-hours. You may meet your new socialgov best friend or your future co-worker, and don't forget to say hi to all of us at Team GSM!
GSMCON2024, happening April 16-18, 2024, offers a hybrid experience, meaning you can join either online or in-person in Palm Springs, California. GSMCON also includes a special ceremony, the Golden Post Awards, to recognize movers and shakers in the government social media industry.
To get the most out of your experience, in-person attendees can add pre-conference workshops (like the Government Social Media 101 workshop, perfect for new socialgovs!) to your ticket or you can upgrade to VIP for an all-inclusive experience, which includes all pre-conference workshops, networking activity & dinner, and much more. Learn more about all of the available ticket types and add-ons.
In 2024, sessions will be held at the Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa which sits on 360 acres and boasts mountain views and several after-hours amenities to enjoy including a resort-style pool, golf, tennis, duckpin bowling, a spa and sauna to name a few.
Not sure if GSMCON is right for you? More than 1,500 agencies participated in 2023 and you can view a list of those who opted to share their attendance here. Get your ticket now during our Early-Bird sale to save the most!
Blogs & weekly newsletter
We know you’re pressed for time, so let us bring the latest straight to you! Sign up for our weekly newsletter where we’ll send you tips, news and the latest training updates to your inbox. We’ll get you socialgov-related resources like updates from our GSM blog and more. Here’s some great blog resources to get you started now:
Social Media Manager–Government Social Media LLC
Ariana graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Human Rights. She spent several years in the TV news industry and also served the Birmingham Police Department initially as a Crime Prevention Officer and later as the first Public Relations Manager. She is passionate about GSM's mission and and enjoys the positive and supportive team work environment.
Best communicate with the public you serve and get connected with fellow socialgovs by registering for the 2023 Government Social Media Conference happening in Reno-Tahoe, Nevada! Join our free network for bi-weekly Government Social Media Chats or professional association for member-only webinars. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on training, events and more.
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.