LESM – Beyond the basics
The days of telling law enforcement agencies that they need to be using social media are gone. Quite frankly, if an agency can’t see that social media is a vital part of a communication plan, community relationship building tool and an educational, awareness and prevention force multiplier, then those agencies simply have no interest in the citizens they serve.
Instead, the focus must be on not just doing social media, but doing it well. Doing it great and doing it for the right reasons. The interesting thing that I have found is by committing to one key component of social media, you will do it great and for the right reasons.
What’s that one key component?
Without a doubt, community engagement has the most impact on the success of law enforcement social media programs. Community engagement is what separates agencies with a social media presence and agencies that are a presence on social media.
The agencies with the greatest presence on social media have a few things in common.:
- They know the who.
- They know the where.
- They know the when.
- They know the what.
- They know the how.
They know all of that because they determined their WHY.
They determine the reason they want to commit resources to a social media program and with the reason or reasons identified, everything else falls right into place.
At this point in time, it should go without saying an agency’s “why” can no longer be, “Everyone else is doing it, so we should too.”
The why needs to be or become an extension of a philosophy within the agency. It needs to be a core working practice that doesn’t just show in the social and digital space, but is a supporting characteristic of the real life values of the agency. In fact, the lines should blur between the real life and the digital realm…they must be symbiotic.
Who, what, where, when, how and why are the basics. Basics. It would be an exaggeration to say that 20 percent of socially minded agencies have determined the basics. More than 80 percent of agencies haven’t taken the time to go that far and that is truly unfortunate.
Think of a Black Belt in martial arts. Many would think that Black Belts are the Masters but that’s wrong. A Black Belt is merely someone who has mastered the basics. Once that has happened an entire new world of learning and sharing opens up.
Beyond The Basics
Taking your social media program beyond the basics is important as it allows you to be heard in a world of increasing social media noise and non-sense.
Going beyond the basics with your social media program means bringing in extra tools that allow you to do your job better, more efficiently and with greater capabilities. It also requires going beyond basic thinking. You become smarter, work faster and increase your abilities.
Specific applications and websites can provide tools to take your engagement and amplify it.
Knowing when and how to use those tools allow you to not only amplify but engineer your sound so that it cuts through the noise as a symphony of strategic notes in the opera of your strategy.
On April 20th, I will be partnering with Nixle and Everbridge to present a webinar that will expand on the two principles of Community Engagement and Going Beyond The Basics. We will dive deep to ensure that you can create a strategic voice that your community will hear and respond to.