Ten basic principles

It may be the same authority but councillors, authority staff and the organisation will often use social media in distinct ways. However, there are a set of universal principles that run as a golden thread.

  1. Be human

    Be approachable in your language and tone.

  2. Be engaging

    Respond to questions and talk back when you can move the conversation on or help.

  3. Be professional

    Remember that you are representing your authority.

  4. Share and say where it came from

    You can share what others have posted but it is polite to acknowledge and attribute where this has come from.

  5. Go to where the eyeballs are

    If the section of the population you want to connect with are on a particular platform join that platform. Go to the forum or group where they are likely to be. People don't need permission to use it and they are likely to organise themselves into groups without asking permission.

  6. You can't control, only contribute

    You cannot stop conversation amongst residents. You can only contribute to it.

  7. Content is king

    By creating sharable and engaging content you can contribute to the conversation and be heard.

  8. Be authentic

    Don't try and pretend to be something you are not. Ghosted accounts are not authentic.

  9. Be trusting

    We cannot monitor every conversation, letter, phone call or email. Trust your staff and you will gain far more than you will lose.

  10. Be strategic

    Plan ahead – who do you want to engage with, why and how? What do you want to achieve? This should be a simple plan, it may just even be in your head, but have a plan for what you want to achieve.