We all know that government agencies are constantly under pressure to make their conversations with constituents measurable, and results-based to justify the investment. One stand-out action the city of New York is doing to keep this at the forefront of importance is driving an advisory board of SMART members (the Social Media Advisory and Research Taskforce).
Under the leadership of Rachel Sterne, the City's first Chief Digital Officer at NYC Digital, the committee acts as a "consulting body for agencies making the digital transition, providing feedback and streamlining social media strategy and policy. They're also highlighting best practices, and planning to hold crash courses and workshops for communication managers" (source).
From NYC Digital's website:
SMART is New York City's Social Media Advisory and Research Taskforce. This body consists of 15 members elected every six months by social media managers across the city. SMART members are responsible for helping to manage citywide social media feeds such as Facebook and Twitter (@nycgov), providing recommendations on social media tools and strategies, assisting emerging City agencies on social media, evaluating new social media platforms, updating social media guidelines and policies, and liasing with technology and legal authorities in the City.
As you can see from their list of advisory board members, NYC Digital's SMART dream team is made up of members from NYC agencies -- the NYC Department of Education, the Mayor's Office, their 311, the Office of Emergency Management -- as an example. Since it is crucial in social media to speak the language of your constituents, having members that understand what citizens need and want helps you made bigger strides.
Recommendation 1: take a page out of the NYC Digital book, and get taskforcing! Get your most literate folks, and get conversing/guiding/winning.
Recommendation 2: not only get your task force in order, but create a website to outline your digital mission, social media properties, apps, advisory board members...whatever makes most sense for your agency. Social Media is just an advanced form of conversing with constituents -- so get your best ideas rolling, best metrics in place, train your people, and take your citizens to the next level of digital connectedness.
Interested in more about NYC Digital? Check out the blog here.