08 January 2016

Uncover strategies to plan, manage and leverage the use of social media in the public sector

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Public sector organisations are now recognising the need for a consolidation and best practice propagation of the phase that is ‘social media’ – it’s here to stay.

Social media today penetrates and has impact on all aspects of business functions, including corporate communications, marketing, customer service and engagement, and customer service delivery. It too has been recognised to enhance many of these functions.

Social media has been a tool adopted into the public sector quite disparately although enthusiastically initially for the purposes of greater information reach and engagement, but has now been seen to be a far more efficient tool for public sector internal processes and functions.

Due to various factors however (resources, scepticism and risk aversion, lack of expertise) digital transformation in the public sector has been implemented narrowly and non-uniformly, both within a department and across the sector.

Challenges associated with the integration of social media into internal processes include legislative compliance, internal change management, ensuring service authenticity with the introduction of a new medium, as well as management of logistics, financial and infrastructure demands.

Nevertheless these challenges, the lesson has become clear; the power of social engagement is real and the Australian Government must develop its capacity to respond effectively.

As part of the ‘digital first’ strategy, Government at all levels will be required to achieve an aggregate target of all service provision and transactions online. As a result, eyes will be on delivering high quality engagement, within Government budget allocation, and respond to increased discrepancy.

Craig Thomler in his eGov AU blog states:

“As such both innovation and digital transformation are important techniques that should form part of the 'toolkit' of every public sector employee.

However, in all this rush to secure innovation rushing and transform service delivery via digital tools, public servants and politicians alike must ensure they focus on the goals they are seeking to achieve, not simply the (shiny new) tools they are using to achieve them.

The goal - as it has been for hundreds of years - is to improve the operations of government and ensure that, within the budgets available, governments deliver the best possible experience and, particularly, outcomes, for their 'owners' - citizens.”

Given the demand for engagement, where Australians would now prefer to use an e-government service delivery channel to contact government, enhancing these operations, delivering better services online, and social media communication is critical.

This is the opportunity of 2016 to:

·         Establish greater capabilities to translate metrics outcomes to the development of strategy
·         Enhance the richness of return on engagement
·         Develop content campaigns in house and under budget
·         Develop effective platforms for targeted initiatives
·         Minimise risk opportunity
·         Increase response timeliness
·         Embed an employee social media use culture
·         Decentralise response whilst adhering to policy and strategy
·         Reach marginal demographics and generate followings at scale

The need for digital transformation and social media to be strategised and consciously integrated into the core business in the public sector is ever-present and rapidly progressing into a priority.

Continue this conversation at Akolade’s Social Media for Gov Conference coming this March 2016 in Canberra – a premier event which offers in-depth case based presentations from primary industry practitioners who have overcome similar challenges and maximised social media in the public sector.
After finishing University with a degree in Business Marketing, I decided to make a big jump across seas for the first time and move from the east coast of America to Sydney, Australia. I landed my first job in a sales position in the event industry and soon thereafter moved into a marketing assistant role – following I had the pleasure of interviewing with Akolade which got me to where I am today.
Akolade is a fun, innovative company that brings together people from different walks of life to implement change. As the Marketing Manager, I have the pleasure of wearing many hats which motivates me to succeed, reach people in an array of avenues, grow our events to their full potential, and raise our story. As for me, I am a kind dedicated woman who loves to work hard, exercise, cook, be social and have some fun.

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