Social Media at Oakland County, Michigan Government

Here at Oakland County, we realize that the way our citizens seek information has changed. In order to provide our citizens with the best service possible, we made some changes too. Various county departments began to join social media in 2009, and by 2013 we had implemented county-wide strategy and rolled out an official Social Media Policy. By 2015, we had expanded to 7 platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and WordPress. We know that it’s easier for our citizens to reach out to us if they have a question on Facebook, because most of them are already on Facebook (and/or other platforms). Social media can be a one stop shop. Citizens can look at posts from family and friends, learn about sales at their favorite stores, ask questions, give suggestions, voice complaints and share comments and photos.

Our citizens still have the options to visit our website or call us on the phone, but it makes sense to be available in the social space, especially knowing that it’s most convenient to a large number of our citizens. We want to be where our citizens are so we can engage with them and share news and events that are happening in the county. Social media is the optimal place to connect and have conversations with our citizens, as well as share the message that Oakland County is a great place to live, work, play and raise a family.

Oakland County has found great success using an integrated social media strategy, where a parent brand was established as OakGov to be a unified voice for the entire county, and participating divisions and departments were placed in tiers underneath. This integrated approach focuses on branding, content and engagement. The parent brand, OakGov, drives branded content to participating departments and divisions. Citizens can connect with OakGov to get a broad spectrum of agency news and programs, as well as information about the community. They can also connect with specific departments, to get more detailed content on specific programs and topics. Content can be shared between all tiers any time there is relevance to one or more departments. As a result of this sharing, connections grow exponentially and we are able to engage with more and more users. Using an integrated social media approach has also helped us to achieve consistent branding and strategic content. Providing departments and divisions with content training and brand standards when beginning on social media has proven to facilitate success as well. Analytics show that our integrated approach has helped us to reach increasingly large numbers of citizens. In addition, engagement has shown that many of our digital citizens have turned into brand advocates. Social media is a win-win!

One of the most exciting ways we use social media is to invite our citizens to events that they normally wouldn’t be able to attend. Did you know that for the last four years we have live tweeted Oakland County’s State of the County Address? Just this month, we even had the State of the County live streamed on YouTube. Across 5 platforms and through 10 accounts, we reached 519,392 (Half a Million) people, making 173,275 impressions. On those posts, people engaged 4,458 times and clicked on links 3,369 times. We even trended on Twitter locally and that’s the whole point. We want to make our services available to those who want or need them, and make them fast and easy to find too.

Each platform has its own special attributes. Citizens tend to use Facebook for family and friends and a little bit of news, while Twitter is used primarily for news and events. We use Instagram to highlight photos of beautiful places and spaces that are taken by Oakland County citizens. Boy, are they excited when we share their photos! We use the LinkedIn platform to highlight extraordinary businesses in Oakland County, as well as events. LinkedIn is a prime place to engage with both companies and individuals; it’s also a fantastic way to show support for our partners. In addition to the G2G Marketplace blog, we have an Oakland County blog that features events happening in and around the county. You can subscribe to the Oakland County blog on WordPress and check out some of our posts on Pinterest too. Our YouTube channel has several captivating videos that highlight a huge spectrum of events and locations in the county. Take a look; we know you’ll love what you see!

All in all, we’re excited with what we’ve accomplished using social media. It’s an incredible way to communicate with our citizens in the digital space and provide the best customer service possible. We want to interact and engage with our citizens. We also want to respond to their questions and comments as quickly as possible. Social Media has proven to be a great tool for us to accomplish those goals. We’re excited to try new platforms and find even more ways to be of service. The future of Oakland County is bright and we’re thrilled to connect and share with our citizens via social media.

Author: G2G Marketplace