# Social Media Archiving

Positive Stories Your Agency Should Be Sharing on Social Media

CivicPlus

November 4, 2022
5 min

Social media is great for crisis communications because it disseminates news quickly and broadly. Its wide reach also helps communicators keep community members informed about updates and policy changes. We’ve seen how important these messages can be throughout the pandemic and during extreme weather events – social media provides a lifeline for many residents to their communities.

While these posts are vital, you don’t want everything you post to be serious announcements or emergency alerts. Community program successes, employee milestones, and local color all have a place on your social media pages. Sharing these positive stories about your agency, school, or locality can build trust and give community members more insight into your achievements. And if you do it right, you also might boost your engagement rates, which will improve the reach of those emergency messages you want everyone to read.

Positive post examples

Looking for ideas about what kinds of positive stories to post for your agency or school district? We’ve rounded up four great examples of content that gets attention and engagement on social media from some of our customers.

1. Celebrating employees’ hard work

Corvallis School District in central western Oregon shows off their employee’s hard work on their social media pages. They regularly use Facebook to highlight what teachers are doing in the classroom. This past June, one of their counselors collected student artwork and published an online “zine” to celebrate Pride Week and showcase student talent. The school district posted the link to the zine and some images of the art inside, making sure to give credit to the counselor for his idea and the students for their contributions. You can read more here about how Corvallis School District uses social media and mitigates risk using ArchiveSocial.

Sometimes civil service feels like all criticism and no praise, as controversial stories are more likely to make the news. Public agencies and school districts give employees positive recognition by sharing their accomplishments and milestones on social media. These posts also humanize governments by giving them human faces. Community members gain more insight into the people that keep governments running, which can increase their trust in the institutions themselves.

2. Promoting programs and sharing their successes

Parramore Kidz Zone in Orlando, FL, is a city-funded initiative to improve the wellbeing of the city’s most disadvantaged children. The city runs a Facebook page to publicize and promote programs supported by the initiative. Using this page, they can promote related events, advertise free resources, and share success stories with the community.

For instance, the Parramore Kidz Zone often shares posts from Black Bee Honey, a nonprofit group that teaches students business skills and entrepreneurship. It also promotes healthy, local foods in an area that is largely a food desert. When the city shares stories of Black Bee Honey events and sales, they’re doing more than raising awareness. Showing residents how tax dollars make a positive impact helps the city to build trust with their community. They can also further the success of the programs they’ve invested in by promoting them online.

Read more about the city of Orlando’s online presence and work with ArchiveSocial here.

3. Share can’t-miss attractions

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ArchiveSocial customer Casey, IL, is known for its larger-than-life tourist attractions. A giant rocking chair, mousetrap, and golf club are just a few of the small town’s enormous attractions. They even have the world’s largest mailbox! People come from all over the country to post a letter from Casey, and the increased tourism has given the town an economic boost. So to keep a good thing going, Casey makes sure to showcase their impressive landmarks on social media.

On their @bigthingssmalltownInstagram, you’ll find photos of attractions, local event promotions, and Casey merchandise. The content is all aimed at sharing what makes Casey great in order to attract visitors and support local businesses.

Advertising your locality’s best features through photos can help increase tourism, both from people far away and closer to home. Sometimes even your own residents don’t know how beautiful local parks and buildings are until you show them. You may even increase hometown pride!

4. Photograph great local events

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Photographs are important for events as well as landmarks. While most communicators know to announce events with dates and times, a picture is worth a thousand words. Help your community members see what an event is like and picture themselves enjoying the fun. If your event goes on for more than a day, take pictures on the first day and share them. If your event is annual, post pictures from last year’s festivities.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) knows that promoting local events with photos on social media is a great way to increase interest and boost attendance. Every year for the last 30 years, the CTA has run their Holiday Train and Bus. The six-car Holiday Train and Bus are staffed by Santa’s Elves and decked out for the holiday season with lights and decorations. Most importantly, Santa himself is onboard, ready to give gifts to the city’s youngest commuters. The CTA publishes the schedule online, but the most important part of their event promotion is all the photos they share on social media. The festive colored lights and happy kids make for the best advertising.

Don’t be afraid to brag

Because of the all-business relationship between government and social media, public agencies and school districts may worry about posting less serious content. It’s a communications tool to inform community members, not to get likes. You can also build trust with your community by showcasing the positive impacts of your agency or school district. Besides, it’s okay to toot your own horn sometimes – after all, it’s not bragging if it’s the truth!

And, though you didn’t come for the likes, each post’s engagement does factor into the reach of your future posts. So try posting positive stories and see what the community’s reaction is. If positive stories boost your engagement rates, then you’re also increasing the reach of your future messaging. That’s especially important when you’re communicating during a crisis.

Check out more tips on social media content here:

2022 State of Social Media in the Public Sector

5 Successful Social Media Strategies for Education

ArchiveSocial Now Archives Tiktok

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CivicPlus