Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Social media demographics

Congratulations on your election. We put together this page of digital resources to capture the tips and tools discussed at the Academy for New Legislators, December, 2016. If you have additions or questions, please email me. At UMass Journalism, we have a lot of expertise ready to help.

Where should you be on social media? You don't need to be on all platforms, but you should be where your constituents are. For most, this will be Facebook, but Twitter and Instagram are useful at different times in different ways. Anecdotally, anyway, I would say that Twitter is a good platform for reaching journalists, for example, and Instagram is good for rallying good feelings around an event or cause.

How should you think about social media? As a core component of your communication strategy, rather than an add-on. And you should probably be thinking mobile. The platforms are always changing, so it's important to keep up with the social media industry, with sites like Social Media Today, and social media demographics with sites like the Pew Research Center.  Social media management takes time and commitment. You're better off with one channel that is well-maintained than several that are not.

Here are some basic resources and information about the demographics of social media.

For policy perspectives, The Pew Research Center is an excellent source to keep up with the intersection of technology, media, social media and the workplace.

Here's a look at the demographics of Facebook users.

Digital communication management and productivity tools

Communication and productivity 
MailChimp,  Constant Contact and Emma enable you to connect directly with constituents via email.

Paper.Li enables you to aggregate content around particularly topics and distribute it to constituents.

SurveyMonkey enables you to conduct informal surveys.

Slack enables you to do group messaging, across teams and topics.

Google Docs, Campfire, GroupMe and Yammer  enable individuals to work on projects together online.

Doodle enables you to schedule meeting times with several different individuals.

Canva is a fun tool that enables you to integrate text and visuals into your social posts.

Jing lets you create and share short screencasts. Its bigger sister,  Camtasia lets you produce longer videos, including screencasts of Powerpoints, etc. Recordit also works.

Evernote lets you keep track of a variety of media all in one file.

Pocket lets you save links from social media sources to read later. Invaluable for collecting items to read from Twitter!

Dropbox offers cloud storage that makes your files accessible on any device.

Social media management
Hootesuite enables you to schedule tweets and Facebook posts across your social platforms.

Here is a link to a downloadable social media posting calendar.

Does your office have a social media policy that spells out the rules of the road for your staff? You should. Here are some examples. Here is the social media policy. Here's the social media policy for the City of Boston.

Here are some guidelines for developing your own policy. Here's a roundup of policies from state legislature and executive branch offices, via the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Here's a directory of state legislature social media sites from around the country. See what other legislatures are doing. Here's an archived webinar on Social Media Policies for State Legislatures sponsored by the NCSL. And here's the PowerPoint that accompanies the presentation.

Social Media Today covers it all.

AllFacebook and AllTwitter cover developments in those social platforms.

Social media tutorials
Want to create a Twitter list for your followers around a particular topic? Here's how.

Want to embed your Twitter feed onto your website? Here's how. 

Want to create an animated  GIF using Photoshop? Here's how. 

Want to learn how to use Facebook Live to take questions from constituents? Here's how.  (This is an archived, ticketed webinar, well worth the $19 fee.) 

Experts worth following
Tips from Sree Sreenivasan, one of the leaders in social media education, who is now the chief digital officer for the City of New York. Sree offers online workshops and tips, and has a Facebook community that your social media manager should connect with: Sree's Advanced Social Media Course. It's a closed group, but easy to join!

Amy Webb's Tech Trends for Journalists is an annual update on tech and media.

Jeremy Caplan, director of education, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, is an excellent resource on digital media and social media. Here's his slideshow on 50 plus Social Media Tools and Sites: Beyond Facebook and Twitter.

Op-ed writing advice
Have you got 750 words to say about a topic? This piece, by the late New York Times columnist William Safire, offers excellent advice on how to write a solid op-ed piece. It's more than 20 years old, but it still holds up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Social media lists

Twitter lists to follow:
These lists can help you keep up!

David Bernstein has created a Twitter list of Massachusetts News Feeds.

The Statehouse News Service has a number of valuable lists, including state senators, reps and newsmakers.

The Statehouse News Service sends out its MASSterList  every morning.

Social media and politics
If you think social media is still optional in electoral politics, this Forbes article is a must read. It details the social media strategy that Jared Kushner used to target supporters, raise money, identify topics that resonated, even plan rally locations that ultimately helped elect his father-in-law president. (And Kushner himself has never posted a single tweet. )

Some takeaways:
Television and online advertising? Small and smaller. Twitter and Facebook would fuel the campaign, as key tools for not only spreading Trump's message but also targeting potential supporters, scraping massive amounts of constituent data and sensing shifts in sentiment in real time.
...For those who can't understand how Hillary Clinton could win the popular vote by at least 2 million yet lose handily in the electoral college, perhaps this provides some clarity. If the campaign's overarching sentiment was fear and anger, the deciding factor at the end was data and entrepreneurship. 

Digital sources related to municipal management and citizen engagement

Apps and tools like See Click Fix, CitySourced, and PublicStuff enable citizens to report problems or issues in their neighborhoods and communities, and connect local governments with citizens.

How Mobile Apps Help Local Governments Connect with Citizens

The federal government's open data website is

Governing: Building the Innovation Nation

Governing: 2016 Digital Cities Survey

Interested in a deeper dive on digital and civic technology?

Susan Crawford is a technology and policy expert, and the author of The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data Smart Governance. Crawford advocates the use of technology, including big data, to solve problems and build citizen participation at the community level.

Here's a case study of how these theories were put to work in the City of Boston.

Here's an NPR interview with Crawford about high speed Internet access in the US.  Here's another piece rom Time Magazine: Is Broadband Internet Access a Public Utility? 

Crawford spoke about her work at the 2014 Knight Civic Media Conference at MIT. You can watch her talk here.

Here's the Knight Foundation slideshare: The Emergence of Civic Tech: Investments in a Growing Field.

Amy Webb is currently working as a Neiman Fellow at Harvard, and is the CEO of Webbmediagroup, which identifies emerging tech trends, for both businesses and municipalities. Here's Amy's report on Tech Trends for 2015

The MIT Center for Civic Media covers all kinds of interesting tech developments. Worth a look.

Pew Internet Center has research on how citizens use technology, including social media. Here's a data sheet on Who's Using Social Media.  Here's another report on Online Civic Engagement: Who's engaging and why. And here's research on Social Media and Political Engagement.

The Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative site has lots of information about tech and manufacturing in Massachusetts.

Wired magazine offers an interesting read on technology developments.

Mashable tech section offers a look at consumer tech, along with BusinessInsider and GigaOm

Re/Code covers the tech industry, from both a consumer and business point of view; here's a recent series on Boston technology .