The coastal city of Deerfield Beach, Fla., is home to more than 77,000 residents and boasts beauty and recreation that attracts a steady stream of tourists. With so many reasons to live here or visit, the city relies heavily on maintaining a strong social media buzz, including the use of an official hashtag. In the past year, the city’s branding efforts were threatened when a resident sent a cease and desist letter for the use of the city’s hashtag: #deerfieldbeach, for which the citizen had successfully purchased the rights. However, the citizen had never used the hashtag in any way consistent with trademarking under Florida law, giving the city the chance to establish a prior use claim.
With the help of ArchiveSocial’s Risk Management & Analytics (RMA) platform, city leaders could definitively identify when the city first used the hashtag. They were also able to put together a timeline — not only for when they used the hashtag on social media, but also for when they promoted merchandise emblazoned with the city’s hashtag.
“We were able to export the records from ArchiveSocial and do a quick search. It took us maybe five minutes to find the information and pinpoint the first use of the hashtag,” recalls Rebecca Medina-Stewart, the director of public affairs and marketing for the city. “We then compared that to the date of purchase by the individual who was trying to hijack the trademark, and we proceeded with legal action to take it back.”
ArchiveSocial’s RMA add-on suite captures data that allows users to quickly enforce social media policy, respond promptly to questions and crisis situations, and support their overall social media strategy.
“Time is everything for people like us who work in government. We have a very small staff normally, so being able to save time in that sort of research for legal purposes was pretty beneficial to us,” says Medina-Stewart.
Prior to using ArchiveSocial for archiving and records management, the city preserved social media records by taking screenshots of every social media post — a tedious task.
“There was nothing efficient about that,” says Medina-Stewart. “What the RMA platform allows is not only an actual organized record of everything that’s going up, but the ability to search it and receive immediate alerts when the policies on our social media pages are being violated. The RMA is like having another employee archiving your social media records and policing your platforms for you.”
ArchiveSocial’s archiving, combined with RMA technology, offers agencies protection both during a crisis and for day-to-day policy enforcement. It allows agencies to manage the conversations on their social media pages while complying with public records law. “The RMA platform is amazing in that when there are certain things we have flagged on our social media, certain keywords, any sort of profanity or policy enforcements — we’ve made sure there are specific standards that people adhere to if they’re going to comment and use our pages. The moment that is broken or violated in any way, the peace of mind of having the RMA platform flag it and send an immediate email is priceless,” says Medina-Stewart.
RMA monitoring and alerts make it easy to keep tabs on the content posted on social media accounts, reducing worry and risk. “If you don’t have something like ArchiveSocial for your social media, you’re playing Russian roulette with your daily public records responsibilities — and that’s not a good idea,” says Medina-Stewart. “We have a responsibility and a job to be transparent, and social media is a part of that transparency we want to offer people — our residents and our constituents.”
RMA turns the data captured in a city’s archive into reports that clearly identify the impact of its social media strategy and campaigns. City leaders can see all content being posted, the activity driven by the content, and the increased audience created by that activity. They can also analyze trends over time and get more insight into what is engaging citizens, in addition to maintaining records of that activity.
“It just makes sense to have software available to you like ArchiveSocial that gives you back your time and does it responsibly, in an organized manner that allows you to better deliver transparency to the public — the way that we should be doing,” says Medina-Stewart. “I don’t need to check every social media account every day because I know ArchiveSocial is doing the job for us.”
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