Know what you’re going to do with your social media profiles before creating them

So your chief wants you to get the agency onto social media. Your first thought is “where do I start?”

One mistake often made by law enforcement agencies is to create their social media profiles without first knowing what they’re going to do with them. For this reason, I created and advocate for the C.O.P.P.S. Social Media Method. C.O.P.P.S. stands for:

* Citizens
* Objectives
* Plan
* Policy
* Schedule

The C.O.P.P.S. method, in a nutshell, provides a framework with which police social media practitioners are reminded that first and foremost, figure out who your audiences are, then ask yourself what your goals are with those audiences and only then can you determine what tools to use and how to use them.

For example, you might suggest your audience is “everyone” in your jurisdiction and that’s true. But social media allows you to reach the micro-audiences that have been previously difficult or near impossible to reach. The C.O.P.P.S. method helps you define them, describe them, analyze them and then determine how best to reach them.

This Social Media Quicktip was previously published on