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Keeping Social Media Big and Safe in Small Casey, IL

Keys to Project:

Automated social media archiving, compliance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act


Casey, IL




One staff member maintains three Facebook pages for this small town with a large tourist interest and number of social followers.

A large #2 pencil on display in downtown Casey, IL – Spencer Turkin / CivicPlus

Twelve of the world’s largest items, including the “World’s Largest Mailbox,” can be found in the small city of Casey, Illinois. While 2,400 people call the town off Interstate 70 home, many more engage with the community via Casey’s three Facebook accounts. With unique giant-sized attractions and flourishing businesses, it’s no surprise this little city has such a large social media presence. With a substantial amount of online attention comes a great deal of risk. Luckily, with the help of CivicPlus Social Media Archiving (formerly ArchiveSocial), the City of Casey can maintain its large social media footprint while reducing the town’s risk and complying with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Small City, Big Facebook Presence

The City’s three main Facebook pages, City of Casey, ILCasey Police Department, and Clark County, IL Jobs, have a combined 11,800 followers, generating 278 records per month on average. They are all maintained by just one person, Bailey Maulding, the City’s Economic Development Director. Maulding leverages content from the Casey Popcorn Festival Page to the local chamber of commerce to share for engagement, but the “Big Things in a Small Town” page generates the most buzz.

“A local businessman named Jim Bolin built most of the big things, “explained Maulding. “Every year, we have thousands of visitors that come to town. So even though we only have 2,400 people living here, that number triples during summer weekends.”

The City’s comprehensive Facebook presence became a popular way to relay important information during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it hasn’t slowed down since, remaining a primary resource for day-to-day announcements for citizens and an inexpensive communication tool for the city. And sometimes, that communication goes viral, like when one of the city’s “Big Things” sets a new Guinness World Record.

The World’s Largest Rocking Chair located in Casey, IL. – Spencer Turkin / CivicPlus

“One of our last posts organically went to 15,000 people,” said Maulding. “To see that growth in one post is crazy for a small town, and that gets people looking at our other pages and interested in other events, which helps our city grow.”

Keeping Compliant with Illinois FOIA

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act contains some of the country’s most stringent public records laws, and all activity on government-run social media pages is considered a public record. As you can imagine, with such popular pages, the City generates plenty of public records that anyone could request at any time. But with CivicPlus’ Social Media Archiving software in place, pages are consistently monitored, giving the City peace of mind knowing that as soon as any content is published or changed, it’s instantly captured and preserved in full resolution within its original context.

“If someone makes a comment on a post and then they delete it, it’s gone to everybody else, but we know it’s still backed up, and we have it there just in case we need it,” said City of Casey Clerk Jeremy Mumford. “It is worth the money to have that safety net behind us.”

Staying prepared for records requests with CivicPlus Social Media Archiving Software

As the City’s Facebook pages continue to gain popularity, the City is always prepared for any potential records requests, audits, or litigation. “The FOIA law is very daunting,” said Mumford. “You have a lot of stuff to keep track of, and Facebook is one of those things. Knowing that you have something to back up the data all the time is a relief, and it’s not hard to do once you have [CivicPlus’ Social Media Archiving software].”

Casey, IL, is home to the World’s Largest Mailbox. – Spencer Turkin / CivicPlus

While CivicPlus’ Social Media Archiving software is widely used to remain compliant with public records law, the City regularly utilizes other built-in features to maintain its strong social media footprint. With actionable data preserved in its secure archive, the City can stay on top of all activity and information shared across its accounts.

“Every month, [CivicPlus] sends me an email that my monthly export is ready,” said Maulding. “So when I get that email, I open up all the exports and just connect them through everything and make sure that we didn’t miss anything or anything like that. It’s just a reminder of what’s happened over the last month.”

For most public communicators, even more so for those in small cities and towns, social media is just one of their daily responsibilities. So maintaining a strong and compliant social media presence, especially with the 24/7 nature of the platforms, can be challenging. However, having a dedicated archiving solution, like CivicPlus’ Social Media Archiving software, simplifies the challenge and makes it easy to maintain compliance and mitigate risk while effectively communicating with your community.

“It is definitely worth the money to have that safety net behind us,” said Mumford. “It’s a great peace of mind tool.”

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