5 Things The British Government Can Teach You About Social Media

PM David Cameron meets with President Barack Obama PM David Cameron meets with President Barack Obama

It’s official the “Ayes” to the right have it, Twitter remains in use on the Benches of the House of Commons. On Thursday, MPs voted by 140 votes to allow the continued use of Twitter during Commons debates.

If you ever thought politics was stuffy and boring, then you would think British Politics was probably the stuffiest of all.

Well not any more.

Not only are politicians more in favour of Social Media in the workplace than many companies, it seems that what ever President Obama can do UK Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to do better.

Whilst many of us that work in the Social Media world spend hours of our time trying to justify ROI and convince the Board that they should try Google+, Foursquare or God forbid Facebook, the British PM is leading the charge, and is even now using LinkedIn to engage with businesses and the community.

Now I am under no illusion that much of the activity will not be the PM himself, but good show ‘Old Man’, this really is the ticket.

The UK Government don’t exactly inspire confidence in many British businesses at present, but their proactive approach in using online platforms to engage with the electorate is a Social Media campaign I would love to run.

Here are the 5 lessons to take onboard:

Whilst your competitors may be wondering how to make use of the new methods of engagement, get on board and start using them. Even though engagement isn’t as full on as it could be Number 10 are ReTweeting, sharing and posting images. They are taking small steps in a considered fashion but in the right direction.

They haven’t jumped on every platform straight away. Even for a Government managing multiple Social Networks takes some planning. Ensure you have a plan of engagement in place and only start out on a new platform once you have existing ones comfortably under control.

One thing I really like about the implementation of Social Media by the Government is how they recognise the difference between each network. It would have been very easy for them to blast out the same message across all networks, but instead they are handling each in a varied ways. This makes for more opportunities to connect with the target audience in each channel.

Okay so much of what is being shared is from Government sources, but rather than one statement after another messages are varied. ReTweeting messages from the Foreign Office, the Department of Health and even William Hague.

They get every where, but you have to learn to ignore them. Trolls are a fact of life online, people whose only interest is to take a negative slant on whatever you say. If anyone is going to get their fair share of Trolling it’s going to be a Government official, and this is clearly visible on David Cameron’s Google+ feed.

Downing Street can now be found in the following places:

Does this inspire you to do more in the social space?

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