One of the most important components of a good, community oriented, social media strategy is localized content. Precincts are geographically dispersed through the jurisdiction based on the geography of the city – and in social media, content should be dispersed the same way, through use of separate accounts or hashtags for different areas . Localizing of social media messages is especially important in large metropolitan areas where interests and incidents vary based on geography.
A resident living on the east side of anytown will be interested in updates about recent robberies coming from his local precinct while a different resident on the west side could use a tweet about the road closure around the corner.
The fine men and women of the Seattle PD, a department which has long been recognized for its innovation in social media (go Hempfest,) understand the importance of localizing and have even taken it a step further. Aside from opening separate accounts for their precincts, they recently introduced “Tweets by the Beat“, a web page to help residents identify their local precinct twitter feed using a map of the city. This is especially important since many people are not aware what “beat” they live in and therefore would not know what feed to follow. I put in a random address and found myself following SeattlePDB2 – now only three things are left:
1. Make sure “Tweet by the Beat” is available on Chrome
2. Turn the map of precincts into a clickable map that directs residents to their feeds
3. Talk to the community!