During a recent webinar sponsored by Government Technology, Jennifer Herber, Public Information Specialist Senior with the Austin Police Department shared her agency’s experience using the Risk Management & Analytics (RMA) suite from ArchiveSocial.
The City of Austin believes in being open and transparent in government, and uses ArchiveSocial social media archiving to facilitate this because, as Heber puts it, “we have a responsibility to archive social media interactions.” Records of social media communications must be kept, just like other official communications, to be in compliance with the public records laws. Knowing that archiving is keeping the city compliant with the law enables the city to fully engage via social media to keep the public informed about community events, severe weather, emergency situations, and public threats.
The City of Austin has a strong social media presence, but, according to Herber, the city must be selective in choosing which social media platforms to use. The Risk Management & Analytics suite gives Austin the confidence to keep investing in social media by identifying which platforms are performing well.
A feature that Herber feels the city is getting great value from is activity comparison, which breaks down the incoming and outgoing activity of a social media account. “What’s great about analytics,” says Herber, “is it allows you to see this as it’s happening.” Not only does this software show the activity of an account, but the sentiment analysis feature can measure public sentiment related to the activity.
The feature that Herber says her department uses most is custom alerting. “We receive incoming question and profanity alerts, and on occasion we get personally identifiable information alerts.” This helps Herber and the city enforce their social media policy. “The City of Austin has a social media policy that if someone has an off topic comment we can delete it, and we make sure we have that [guideline] posted on all our sites.” Also, information such as a threat to an officer can be identified and shared with police intelligence.
For organizations who are interested in expanding their social media presence, determining and managing the risks, and assessing the benefits of investing in social media can be a challenge. A solution that minimizes risk while measuring social media ROI can be the key to getting colleagues on board and keeping them on board with social media.