Facebook Post of the Month – Mitchell Shire Council
Mitchell Shire Council (facebook.com/MitchellShire) are doing some truly amazing work, with highly impressive engagement stats to match. The wonderful Alison O’Connor, Digital Communications Adviser for Mitchell Shire Council, was kind enough to speak with us about how they come up with their content strategy.
We were particularly interested in this post around an outdoor fitness station, which had gained significant traction on Facebook.
We were really impressed by the informative, community-focused content on your Facebook, like this post. Do you find social media feedback shapes your content and community events/activities, or is most of your content planned well in advance?
Being a council, we have more than 100 services. Our approach and tone of voice varies depending on the topic and the service as different posts appeal to different audience segments. We regularly monitor performance of our content to get a feel of what works best in our community. We adjust our approach based on learnings from that (including our more controversial posts which we also have plenty of). Throughout the week we have a mix of pre-planned and ad-hoc content. This one was chosen because we knew there would be a photo opportunity with the equipment being installed.
This post performed very well, achieving higher than average engagements than other posts for the month. Do you attribute this to anything in particular (e.g. fitness being a popular topic in the community, or perhaps the engaging imagery) and will this shape your strategy moving forward?
A combination of people being very excited to see the equipment coming and the friendly and fun tone of the post. We normally try to feature happy faces and people in our imagery and try to use local people and staff where we can. In this case, I think the post worked because it didn’t have a person as the feature of the image, so people engaged more with the equipment. We do have a set style for our images so that even when the photo isn’t the best, by adding a consistent colour strip and text people still identify with the picture.
Is someone responsible for scouting locations and producing imagery, or do local organisations tend to get in touch and provide you with content? If the latter, do you use any special tools to keep your visuals so consistent?
We have a mix of content – some we produce ourselves, some that are campaign based and some that are shared from other sources. We have a combination of photos we take, stock images and campaigns imagery. We don’t have a large image library and we have a very small image budget. The Communications team grabs photos when we are out and about. Occasionally we will also use photos supplied by our staff. We try to give our images a consistent feel. We use Photoshop for this. People who manage our other pages (e.g. animals, leisure) also have a template they can use but they have a simpler editing tool.
Did you expect the levels of engagement you received, or did it come as a surprise to see such a response?
It can be difficult to determine what posts will get the best engagement. Sometimes ones we think will do well just don’t take off and sometimes the ones that we think won’t get much attention do really well. In this post, the photo isn’t a flashy, high quality image so we worked the content to our advantage. Our community is very excited to be receiving this equipment, so we thought it would do well.
What would be your advice to other businesses who want to get great engagement results on social media with minimum risk?
It depends on the business and the audience. Bear in mind that what you’re trying to do is stop people scrolling and get them clicking or engaging. Depending on your product and audience, you don’t always need the best quality visuals to make your content work. A consistent approach, having a bit of fun and trying out a few different things to help understand what sort of information works best for your audience is a great starting point. If you’re in there fairly regularly and looking at your insights, you can get a good feel for what will work for your audience and message…and sometimes, you just strike it lucky.
Thank you so much the Alison for sharing her insights!
Do you have a post you’d like us to consider for Post of the Month? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your post today.