Day 2 was the official first day of GSMCON 2018 (Tuesday, April 24), with keynotes, breakout sessions, and more!
The overall agenda for my day was as follows (I’ve eliminated the sessions I did not attend as well as food/networking breaks), and I’ll briefly touch on each of these later in the discussion:
- 8:00 – 9:30 AM Opening Keynotes: Twitter & Hootsuite
- 9:45 – 10:45 AM Steps for Developing a Social Media Plan
- 11:00 AM – Noon Analytics & Success Measurement for Social Media
- 1:45 – 2:45 PM Set Up a Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) to Help in Crises
- 3:00 -3:45 PM PowerTalk Table Discussions
- 3:45 – 5:00 PM Keynote Panel: Social Media Crisis Response
- 5:30 – 8:30 PM Exploring Downtown Denver
Opening Keynotes: Twitter & Hootsuite
- Jared Benoff, Public Policy Associate, Twitter
- Ben Cathers, Principal Value Consultant, Hootsuite
All in all, the opening keynotes were informative and provided information about how to best use Twitter and Hootsuite for government, including new Twitter features geared toward being able to better tell stories by using threads, tapping into what’s trending, and telling an engaging story by collaborating with others.
Steps for Developing a Social Media Plan
- Bryan Bullock, Communication Manager – Digital Content, City of Boulder, CO
This session really covered the basics of a Social Media Plan, including defining what it is, why organizations need one, how to develop a plan, and what to include in that plan.
The information provided during this time was invaluable, and I came away with a lot – especially since I plan to begin drafting a social media plan for my organization in the near future. Mr. Bullock encouraged individuals in attendance to take into consideration the needs and uniqueness of their organization, and incorporating that into the final social media plan.
Analytics & Success Measurement for Social Media
- Renie Dugwyler, Community Outreach Coordinator, Colorado Attorney General’s Office of Community Engagement
The most important thing that I got from this session was the following quote: “What is said on social media stays on Google forever.”
That in and of itself speaks volumes, and serves as a fantastic reminder to everyone (especially local governments) that even if you hide or delete something from your social media pages, it may still live on Google in some fashion.
It is absolutely integral to realize that you must analyze your social media throughout its process, not just the final result. This includes ensuring that you’re posting the right content, at the right time, targeting the right audiences, and getting the end-user to engage with your content.
Set Up a Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) to Help in Crises
- Mary Jo Flynn, Emergency Operations Coordinator, Sacramento County Office of Emergency Management
- Cheryl Bledsoe, Executive Director, Virtual EMA
I felt that this session didn’t apply as much to my situation as it would have to folks that work in the emergency management/response realm. I still learned a lot about the VOST system and how it works with local governments, but quite frankly I left more confused than when the session began.
The gist is that a VOST is a group of trusted individuals that interact in coordination with a team leader and agency liaison to monitor social platforms in times of crisis. It was an interesting session, but didn’t apply to me as much as I would have liked.
PowerTalk Table Discussions
Later in the afternoon, conference attendees had the opportunity to participate in PowerTalk Table Discussions. Essentially, these were tables set up with various topics that attendees could engage with others in a discussion about. I chose to sit a table with other County representatives to chat about problems that often face county governments as it relates to social media.
We discussed a variety of topics, including archiving, social media policies, dealing with trolls, and more. It was an insightful hour, that I felt provided me the space to interact with my peers throughout the country and pick their brain about some of the issues I face in my job. It built a sense of camaraderie, knowing that I wasn’t the only one who struggled at times in my job.
Keynote Panel: Social Media Crisis Response
This panel was incredibly informative, and included representatives from four agencies nationwide that had faced some sort of crisis in their community in the last few years, and how they dealt with that crisis on social media.
They discussed strategies for how to best conduct yourself as an organization on social media during a crisis, including how often to post, posting updates at regular intervals (even when there is no new information), and how to prepare yourself and your team when the time comes that your organization is involved in a crisis.
Exploring Downtown Denver
This was by far the most relaxing part of the day. Conference attendees had two options for the evening: a Restaurant Romp (where you could select a restaurant to eat at with a group of other GSMCON attendees) or you could sign up for a bus to take you to Downtown Denver.
I chose to participate in the Downtown Denver trip, which was awesome! Myself and a colleague from the City of Richland (Hollie Logan, Communications Manager) went downtown, got dinner, and explored a bit on the street that our restaurant was on. It was a wonderful way to end the day, and got even better on the bus ride back (there may or may not have been some group singing to Sir Mix Alot).
And that was a wrap for Day 2! After we returned to the hotel, I got into pajamas and continued to read the book I brought along (linked in my previous post – highly recommend).
Here are a few photos from Day 2: