Social Media at City Hall? You Bet.

How a suburban American city government harnessed social media.

To most people, social media aggregation and social media marketing is exclusively the realm of large agencies, global brands, and consumer products. However Craig Younger and the team at the City of Chandler, Arizona see social media differently. By thinking beyond the traditional definition of a “customer,” they see social media aggregation as a way to connect with their own “customers” – the people of their city.

“We are always looking for more effective ways to share important information with our customers, or stakeholders.” Craig says. “Because our local newspaper coverage has diminished in recent years, social media has become our most important communications medium for reaching a large number of residents quickly. We have to go where our stakeholders are to reach them, and right now they can be found on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other platforms.”

At the City of Chandler, the interest in social media hubs and aggregating social media started small. A member of the Community Services Department began researching ways for her department to engage better on social media.

But Craig saw a larger opportunity.

“I told her to wait and we would find a solution that every City Department could benefit from. We started working together to research products, watched demos and made our recommendation to management, which thankfully was approved and funded.”

But why TwineSocial? “We liked the design and presentation options, and the administration tools on the TwineSocial site are very intuitive. With so many accounts to manage, we also liked the pricing structure that has enabled us to showcase almost all of our social media accounts.”

For a city with as large a social presence as Chandler, this was an imperative.

“Our City currently has dozens of social media accounts generating a lot of posts. We wanted to have one place on our website that the public, and our City leadership, could go to see almost all of the social media communications posted by our organization. We now have that with TwineSocial, and everything is presented in an attractive, easy to follow design.”

Now that the project was city-wide and not just a single department, Craig and the team were well on the way to realizing that initial goal – connecting their “customers” with the day-to-day actions and programs of their City with a social media campaign and effective use of user-generated content (UGC). As Craig points out, however, “[S]ocial media can’t just be a one-way dialogue, it must be a conversation. It is just as important that we are listening to what our stakeholders are saying to us or about us and that we are engaging with them in a timely manner.”

With that in mind, Chandler employees keep a constant finger on the pulse of the city, responding to issues and addressing suggestions faster than ever before. This in turn generates even more loyalty and satisfaction with the City’s initiatives.

For Craig and his team, working with TwineSocial has been seamless. “The TwineSocial team has been great to work with, especially at the beginning when we were getting all of our accounts set up. Since then, they have been responsive and helpful every time we've needed further assistance.”

It’s that kind of confidence—whether between a customer and their City, or the client and the vendor—that creates the environment for tremendous success. When user generated content is harnessed and used proactively, big things can happen.

Craig, it’s been a pleasure working with you and the team, and we look forward to the next chapter!

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