One of the most difficult things for a law enforcement agency to determine in regards to using social media is identifying content to post and share with their followers.
There is an easy solution for that – just ask.
#TalkingTuesday is a theme our agency has used on Twitter to find out what our agency’s followers are looking for. The best part about #TalkingTuesday is that it’s a win/win situation. Our followers love the fun interaction with a police department and we get to find out what they are looking to hear about from us. What is #TalkingTuesday? I thought you’d never ask.
On any #TalkingTuesday, we will send a tweet out to our followers that says it’s #TalkingTuesday and that our followers are welcome to ask us any questions they’d like. Using the hashtag #TalkingTuesday, we respond to questions asked whether they are law enforcement related or not as long as the content doesn’t violate our social media policy. In addition to identifying content, #TalkingTuesday has four goals:
1) Increase the transparency of participating law enforcement agencies.
2) Promote positive, fun interaction with our followers on Twitter.
3) Increase the followership on our agencies Twitter pages.
4) Show the public that law enforcement officers are fun, normal people like everyone else.
There is a ton of value in law enforcement agencies using social media as a tool to interact and engage with their community members. There is also incredible value in using social media as an investigative tool. Law enforcement agencies have experienced a lot of success in identifying subjects of crimes by requesting information on social media. That success is directly attributed to law enforcement agencies having a large enough base of followers to spread the information to. The more followers you have, the more likely you are to receive the information you are looking for.
#TalkingTuesday is beginning to catch on with other agencies throughout the country. Join us on May 17th as we roll out another edition of #TalkingTuesday, with agencies from Minnesota, Massachusetts and Virginia participating.
About the Author
Tony Zerwas is a Police Officer with the Wyoming Public Safety Department. You can contact the author via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about #TalkingTuesday.