1.3.Creation of communication channels: social networks and blog
Parallel to the creation of the participation website, once we have the name of the project, it is advisable to have a presence in social networks, because they will bring great benefits to the project: visibility, positioning, reputation and a better service to the citizens.
According to We are social data for 2018, there are 3.196 million users of active social networks in the world, 13% more than last year. And the number of users over 65 has increased by 20% in the last 12 months. The presence in social networks, therefore, is not so much an option as almost an obligation.
It is essential that citizens know the platform, and therefore, apart from sending a note or organizing a press conference, it is convenient to have communication channels of their own and differentiated from the main channels of the institution. From the very beginning we are going to broadcast highly specialized contents that require the action and involvement of the citizens.
In the event that it is not possible to have our own and differentiated communication channels, we will broadcast our content through the main channels of the institution, so coordination with those responsible for the management of social networks will be essential.
When creating profiles on social networks we will take into account the following steps:
The strategy mentioned in point 1 (the analysis of the context in which we are communicating direct democracy) will allow us to define what we intend to achieve with our presence in the networks. We can have different orientations that do not have to be exclusive: dissemination of information and news about the processes of participation, training and dissemination of how these processes are carried out on the web, having a channel for answering the users and to solve doubts and problems, etc.
Who do we want to address? Do we want to use social networks to focus our communication on young people? Do we want to reach, on the contrary, the entire spectrum of the population? Identifying our potential public (the population to which we direct direct democracy channels) and our target audience (to which we want to direct our strategy), will facilitate optimizing and profiting our presence in social networks.
Another recommendation before opening the page to the public is to open a blog of the project, since it will be one more window to be able to attract citizens and promote the culture of direct democracy. This guide offers details about what content you can include and more keys.
Once decided the platforms on which we are going to be, and with a graphic identity, we must try to create a specific identity for the social profiles, which will be composed of: a cover image, an avatar and a description of the profile.
In addition, depending on our available resources, we can decide which platforms we can feed. How many people make up the communication team? What profiles do they have? The ideal would be to have at least one person dedicated entirely to social networks. If this is not possible, using more networks will be more limited.
In this case, we can see which platforms dominate the market and where the largest number of users is concentrated: Facebook (2,167 million users), YouTube (1,500 million users), WhatsApp (1,300 million), Instagram (800 million) and Twitter (330 million), in this order.
We will analyze, therefore, the wide spectrum of available platforms and locate where most of our target audience is present. Do we want to specifically target young people and are mostly on Instagram? Do we want to reach the entire population spectrum?
We must decide on what platforms we want and can be. It is a common mistake to think that we should be in all or the best known, since we will not be able to focus our efforts on the communities we want to reach.