As part of National County Government Month (NCGM), the National Association of Counties offers the NCGM 2016 Toolkit, a resource that helps counties highlight effective programs and raise public awareness and understanding about the many services you provide to your community.
To help spread the word and celebrate NCGM, ICMA will be providing tips and best practices on various topics to help counties (and cities, too!) raise public awareness about your community's initiatives all month long.
The importance of an organization’s social media presence has grown exponentially in the last decade—so much so that communicating via social media is becoming a core service function for local governments. According to the 2014 ICMA Digital Use Survey, 88% of local governments have a social media presences and the most widely used network is Facebook.
Facebook is a particularly attractive tool for local governments because it allows organizations to keep their citizens and residents informed by posting events, articles, videos, photos, and more. Facebook also allows for a one-to-one interaction between the local government and its residents. As part of ICMA’s recognition of NCGM, ICMA’s Outreach Team reviewed more than 50 county Facebook pages and has compiled the following list (in no particular order) of standouts:
Arlington County, Virginia
Highlights: The Facebook page of Arlington County is very dynamic, with multiple posts added daily. It also has a full library of videos on topics ranging from the Zika virus to regional transportation issues. Arlington’s Facebook calendar is full of community events and is regularly updated.
Johnson County, Kansas
Highlights: Johnson County uses its Facebook page to help raise community morale by highlighting everything going on in the area. Citizens can scroll down the timeline and discover how the county was able to preserve the White Haven Motor Lodge sign in the County Arts and Heritage Center or learn how to participate in the local book drive. Johnson County is able to easily do this by posting positive stories from the local press.
Lake County, Illinois
Highlights: Lake County’s page is residents’ one-stop shop to learn about everything in the community. On the timeline is a wealth of information on how to live a more environmentally friendly life; in the notes section are short posts on winter preparedness, tax billing, and more; and Lake County even has its Twitter feed as part of the Facebook page.
Sonoma County, California
Highlights: Sonoma County’s page stands out because of one unique feature: Interactive Maps. This allows any of the page visitors to see road closures and restrictions, explore local craft beverages, find a park, and more.
Manatee County, Florida
Highlights: The saying goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” After exploring Manatee County’s page you will know this is true. Each post on the timeline has an eye-catching picture to accompany it, and in the photos section of the page one can learn about the community by just scrolling through all the great images.
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