Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cities increasingly turning to social media for info sharing
A growing number of Minnesota city officials are employing social media tools like Facebook and Twitter to facilitate communication with residents and others. For example, cities are using the tools to make announcements about upcoming meetings and events, as well as project updates, and to connect followers with recent city-related news. Some cities are using social media as a portal to the city’s official website so followers can access more in-depth information on a topic. In many cases, cities are using social media to support work they already are doing.

For those interested in following, an informal search showed that the following cities maintain official Facebook pages: Blaine, Burnsville, Chanhassen, Eden Prairie, Hibbing, Mankato, Mapleton, Marshall, Minneapolis, New Brighton, Red Wing, St. Paul, and Wadena.

And, these cities use Twitter accounts: Alexandria, Blaine, Delano, Detroit Lakes, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Mountain Iron, St. Charles, St. Paul, Waseca, Winona, and Wyoming.

For cities considering using social media tools, LMCIT recommends reading, "Social Media and Cities: Questions and Considerations," Developing a Computer Use Policy” and “Electronic Communications Between Council Members,” which provide sample policies that can be used as a group to help prevent city missteps around social media, use of public technology, and some of the unique issues related to elected officials.