Bookface, plus tweets.


“Government tweets, but few care”

Fort Wayne’s Journal Gazette recently reported that local government in Fort Wayne has done what many have already–joined social networking sites to reach audiences and publics.

But the article seems to come to the conclusion that not many of those social networks are very big, or very influential. To piggy back on the last post, to be successful with social media, an organization must interact with its audience and with the public.

For example, Fort Wayne Community Schools had 141 people following it on Twitter and 679 on Facebook as of Wednesday. The district serves more than 30,000 students. Allen County government had 418 followers on Twitter and 159 on Facebook despite serving a population of more than 340,000 people. The Journal Gazette had 439 followers on Twitter and 516 on Facebook.

The numbers look abysmal. Some may wonder why the organizations even bother to talk to such an insignificant percent of their overall public. The Journal Gazette only really touches on three reasons why the audiences may be so small: competition, niche markets, and a city not on twitter.

But one of the most significant reasons for audience growth is interaction. Has FWCS been searching its mentions and following those who comment on the school system, or education in general? Has Allen County government reached out to similar organizations to share best practices? Does the Journal Gazette only serve the public by blasting out updates?

Social networks–twitter and facebook–exist because there are conversations. Traditional media is floundering because the method of telling the story is just not all the people want anymore. They are used to interacting and creating–and sustaining–a relationship with someone else. Twitter and FAcebook are dynamic. Content changes, unlike information set out in the newspaper, the school newsletter, or a press release.

Organizations can’t just be present. They can’t just tweet a lot. They have to make sure they connect to the audience, and create a reason for the audience to want to get information from them and have a conversation with them.



~ by monifree on November 30, 2009.

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