UK Councils Social Media Reputation Index for April 2012
- The top 20 UK councils for new online buzz
- Spotlights stories:
- A Month in the Social Media Life of Hertfordshire County Council
- Staff Feedback Snippet
- Local Election Review Snapshot
- Buzz and Media Mix – News v Blogs v Twitter etc
- Council Service Buzz
The Top 20
These are the councils that have seen the biggest increases in the volume of online buzz they are attracting. The biggest movers (subject to them attaining a minimum number of references during the month – Districts = 100 mentions, Counties and Unitaries = 300) for this month are:
Now let’s take a look at some of the stories behind the buzz...
A Month in the Social Media Life of ... Hertfordshire County Council
It’s easy to get bogged down with the details in the world of social media, we do need to get a sense of perspective, not overreact to one-off comments, and to better understand the sources and the importance and influence they have. So we took a snapshot of a typical county council throughout April and looked at the issues that emerged on social media and the levels of activity they experienced.
This is the Public Service Monitor ‘Topic Cloud’ for the County in April. This helps us to understand what the main talking points are and represent these in a word cloud. The bigger and bolder the text, the higher the amount of mentions received. So with this view we can determine not only what has been said but how much has been said. You might expect to see some pretty standard issues, there will always be chatter about planning and transport for instance but the image above clearly demonstrates the big story for the county in this period was centred around a solitary bus lane camera which was ruled unlawful by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and, as a result, the County announced it would be reimbursing all 35,000 fines that had been issued.
Looking at the overall trend in social media mentions we can see some real peaks in activity as stories break and subside. From praise for new Pothole schemes to criticism of the council’s website – it’s all part of the social media rollercoaster!
Are you doing enough to monitor this activity?
Are you capitalising on the social media boom to maximise its potential in our communications and customer engagement?
Staff Feedback Snippet
It’s not just customers who talk about you on the various social media channels the staff do too! We loved this twitter snippet from a Fife Council employee – they obviously feel valued and the Council have missed her. There are probably lots of examples of staff feedback floating around in social media and being able to capture it can provide useful feedback for managers and HR to work on staff development and give insight as to whether your council is a good place to work!
Local Election Review Snapshot
Hot off the press! We’ve been monitoring activity around the Local Elections which took place on May 3rd and it was interesting to note how short the build up to the election was on social media channels pre election in comparison to the extended post analysis that happened, peaking on the day after the election.
This suggests that social media is still incredibly reactionary, but it seems most election campaign managers haven’t quite worked out how to create buzz before the event using social media.
An exception to this was probably the London Mayoral election. Above is a chart, published by Brandwatch, monitoring the build up to the election for the three main candidates. In last month’s Buzz Index we reviewed Boris Johnson’s slight social media faux pas – it doesn’t seem to have done much damage and his late surge in media attention was probably a fairly good indication of the result.
In our more general review of all the elections it was clear that the News sources were prevalent in the media mix – the graph on the left shows the breakdown of sources. But yet again Twitter makes a strong appearance and demonstrates that if you aren’t tapping in to this media you will be missing out on a big chunk of buzz.
Buzz and Media Mix
Next, this month’s total references to ‘Councils’ online which shows there has seen a dip in overall activity for our sample group, which is a little surprising given that so much has been going on during the month. We’ll wait to see if this continues.
And this months Media Mix it seems the latest Twitter boom may be over, some of this is due to the increase in News around elections etc
Finally, here’s a look at the top trending council services in April. If you are wondering what the libraries spike is... it coincides with the High Court ruling that plans for Surrey libraries to be run by volunteers are unlawful.
PublicServiceMonitor images and chart data may be used provided PublicServiceMonitor is credited accordingly.
For a more comprehensive service description please look at www.publicservicemonitor.com/about
Monthly Buzz Index methodology – Details can be found here
About PublicServiceMonitor – PublicServiceMonitor trawls the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, searching through news, blogs, forums and social media sites. It reads through all of this information and summarises what’s being said about UK councils, and can even tell you whether the sentiment is positive or negative (similar to the election worm we have seen at #leadersdebate). The service was launched in December 2009 so is still quite early on, but by measuring a benchmark group of councils on a consistent basis we hope to be able to provide some national trend information relating to what people are saying about their councils – and how they choose to say it.