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TasWater social media: We’ve got this sorted now!

TasWater social media: We’ve got this sorted now!

A public utility in Tasmania has future-proofed its new social media engagement strategy with archiving tool, Brolly.

Tasmanian Water and Sewerage Corporation, (TasWater) manages the drinking water and sewerage for more than half a million Tasmanians.

What they needed!

TasWater was building a new social media engagement strategy, dedicated to getting messages in a medium where their clients frequent. A major requirement before the strategy went live, was to be 100% compliant with federal record keeping legislation and Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO) guidelines.

Social media engagement is important for TasWater. Being able to quickly respond to future investigations is critical when sharing information about the public impact of safe drinking water.

What they had!

According to Jonathan Mallinson, TasWater’s digital communications coordinator, TasWater previously had a minimal presence on social media. He said, “We used Twitter to announce all the water outages and to engage with media. And we used LinkedIn for recruitment purposes.”

TasWater’s research underpinning the new strategy found two things. Much of its Twitter feed was negative, comprising outage after outage. Research suggested Facebook as customer’s preferred method of contact with TasWater.

Consequently, the new strategy includes creating accounts in Facebook and Instagram, and being more judicious about the water outages posted on Twitter.

What they did!

Jonathan said, “Our new social media strategy is built around the principals of promoting the positive things we’re doing to improve the water and sewerage infrastructure around Tasmania and improving public perception of the brand, community engagement and the utility’s ability to manage public safety.

This has increased Facebook and Twitter digital records ten-fold because as more of the community engage with us, response posts would often need editing and in some cases deleting and rewritten.

With the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO) having strict guidelines around record capture, TasWater needed something that would help comply to those guidelines.

What they found!

The utility investigated the market and found Australia-designed, Brolly. Jonathan said, “Brolly captures all of our social media, including the edits and deletions.  When people edit messages, we get an original post and a copy of the edits, and when people delete a post we get a copy of that original post as well.

“Just the sheer amount of data that Brolly could capture in minimal time was very appealing to us and it ticked all the boxes of records compliance. Brolly’s integration to our social media systems was seamless. We can’t see it working. It’s just something that just operates in the background storing our records in full compliance with 100% of national and state laws.”

Since launching the Facebook and Twitter pages, TasWater has transformed its communication. Rather than just pushing information around out outages, TasWater now shares stories, community pictures, and ‘behind the scene’ pictures. TasWater’s Facebook page has almost 1,000 followers since launch, which is comparable to the number of followers it has on its Twitter page.

What the future holds!

Jonathan expects Brolly will come into its own when TasWater starts a new brand overhaul project.

“Brolly will enable us to gauge how much engagement we generate throughout the campaign so we can justify the project’s success to management. At the end of the day any analytics we can get our hands on will be useful.”

With TAHO reviewing its procedures, and government organisations now increasing their use of social media, Jonathan advises that it is becoming more important than ever for them to ensure that their records meet compliance.

He says all organisations should research records management compliance. “A bit of work now is going to save a whole lot of hurt in the future,” he says. “If TAHO came knocking we’d have to trawl through Facebook and Twitter for hours and hours and screenshot or snip everything out of there to satisfy their reviews. But we’ve got this sorted now.”