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Social Media for Government Summit 2018 recap

Social Media for Government Summit 2018 recap

Brolly was once again an integral sponsor of the Social Media for Government Summit held in Melbourne from the 23rd-25th of October. As always, we enjoyed being part of such an informative and educational conference where we had the opportunity to meet and hear from the people who are responsible for some of the governments largest and most active social media accounts. As you would expect from a conference about social media, attendees hit the many channels of their social media accounts to engage with one another. Twitter in particular. So here is our review of the event with a little help from the twitter bird.

I’m not sure the conference turned out so wild that people were swinging from the chandeliers, however, thanks to Akolade Australia, the 11th Social Media in Government conference was a joy to be a part of. The conference was very effective in providing a platform for these high profile social media managers in sharing an array of information of best practice when engaging with your audience on social media. There were over 100 delegates in attendance to hear from 20 different speakers , of which most spoke about how government bodies can best engage with their communities on social media. There were many interesting strategies different organizations capitalized on that was made evident through case studies. A constant trend throughout each presentation was around the need and benefits from engaging with your audience regularly and effectively.  The importance of creating original content, engaging at the right times, posting data & infographics while educating your audience with relevant information was all emphasised throughout most presentations.  

Nine out of ten Australian’s are now on social media in some form, the growth shown in this area has been unprecedented. Therefore, the need to keep up with the industries trends and policies has become very important. Social media is no longer just a vehicle for organisations to offer customer support answering queries the public may have. Now more than ever social media is used to build up a presence; a brand image. 

Engagement on all types of social media was touched on. International key note speaker, Dirk Von Holleben, a Social Media manager from the German Ministry of Defense spoke about how they use YouTube to great effect. Dirk and his social media team have had great success in leveraging YouTube as a channel to share content that is relevant to his audience. The use of YouTube was said to have a great effect on the younger generation in particular. Dirk had a sound understanding of what was relevant to his audience, and thus, was very effective when it came down to engaging with them.  

Further, Emily Foat was another speaker who sparked the interest of all the delegates as she explained how to effectively communicate with your audience, only this time using twitter. Emily is a client partner at Twitter, and the insights she shared with us were invaluable. Emily emphasized how twitter is an information, thus, “less look at me”, more “look at this”. She explained the many new and different mechanisms one could use when trying to make an impact to their target audience in under 280 characters. 

Seeing how Facebook is Australia’s most active of all social media channels with at least 50% of the country logging in at least once a day, it was only fitting that someone from Facebook come to share their insights as well.   Robert Hotchin, a client partner out of Facebook came to share his wisdom with a very engaged audience. Seeing as the world is becoming more digital by the day and the average online consumer owns 3.5 devices it is important to keep this in mind when you are using mediums like Facebook to advertise. People are engaging on Facebook through their phones and iPad as much as they would on their computers. Therefore, square advertisements that use up more space on the consumers smart device should be recognised and utilized. Eliminate that white space! 

Other highlights from the conference included; 

Jessica Ryan from Australian Securities and Investments Commission gave some useful insights on how to get the whole organisation behind the social media effort. From how to convey your ideas to other teams who aren’t across social media, to reporting to those both up and across the chain in order to engage the audience. 

Ryan Vanderhorst from Vic Emergency delivered a very popular presentation in which he explained to the audience how social media can connect those in need with those who can help. Key takeout’s highlighted how social media is the quickest way to disseminate information these days, and thus can be a lifesaver when unexpected emergencies hit. Did you know that Emergency Management Victoria can get from 20,000 to 30,000 messages on a weekend when emergencies hit. Talk about a twitter storm.  

As most speakers talked about the importance of engaging with your audience in a matter that was relevant and unique, there weren’t any speakers who spoke about the need to engage with your audience in a manner that was in line with government legislation. I mean it was a social media for government conference after all. Good, relevant and engaging social media accounts can take a turn for the worst if they don’t obey simple legislation. This is where we came in, Damian Martina, the head of sales at Brolly came to save the day by delivering a presentation on the importance of social media archiving for government bodies. Here, facts and information were covered that may have been otherwise overlooked by the audience , not anymore. Covering items that included the responsibilities social media users in government hold, especially when deleting a post. Items such as, “does your social media policy allow it?” or “Does legislation allow it?” These are all questions that specified government bodies must think about before making a rash decisions in the form of deleting content. We need to learn from mistakes made in the past, and there have been quite a few to learn from. 


All in all the 11th social media for government left us all with a lot to think of. 

If you missed the event but would like to have a discussion around social media archiving for Government, or around potential social media archiving tools that may be appropriate for your organisation we would happy to have a coffee and conversation as one thing is certain; social media is here to stay and increasing in complexity and importance so we need to be across the management of it!