NAVAJO COUNTY — Well, it ain’t President Trump’s Twitter feed – with 72 million followers all riled up a couple times a day.
But Navajo County has hired a social media manager – and already has 17,000 Facebook followers, 3,200 Twitterers and 900 Instagram devotees.
So far Social Manager Alicia Deets has preferred video clips of road work, beloved police dogs and drug busts over retweeted conspiracy theories.
“We wanted to put a face on those services,” Assistant County Manager Bryan Layton told the Navajo County Board of Supervisors last week. “We’ve made good strides on social media.”
This week, Deets launched a brand-new email newsletter for anyone interested. You can check out the county’s social media offerings and sign up for notifications at https://www.navajocountyaz.gov/Contact-Information/Social-Media.
Currently, that link takes you to a long list of stories including information about a health department effort to educate kids on the dangers of tobacco – including vaping, the hottest craze. You can also find profiles of long-time county workers, a link to an ADOT app on road conditions, a list of places you can get help preparing taxes, information about the Hashknife Pony Express, information on how to register to vote and a link to landing a job as a census taker, among other topics.
The list of topics reflects the bewildering range of county services, since it operates as the middle-man for a host of state and county programs involving health care, education and law enforcement.
Of course, as always, there’s sometimes less to social media than meets the eye.
For instance, Facebook picks up followers easily. Anybody who’s ever “liked” a post or even spent three seconds looking at one becomes a “follower” – along with all their followers. Posts go out to that whole faceless world. If any of those followers click on a new post, then that’s considered “engagement.” Only about 1 percent of followers click on the average post right now, said Deets. One of her goals is to boost the number of people who actually click on a post. An “engagement” rate of 20 percent would be great. Right now, the top-performing posts get about 9 percent.
Deets hopes to add another 1,000 Facebook followers by August and begin building up the people reached through Twitter and Instagram. Twitter specializes in 250-word snippets and Instagram is driven by images.
If you want to sign up for the county’s social media notices or talk about getting community events on the site, you can reach Deets at Alicia.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Aleshire covers county government and other topics for the Independent. He is the former editor of the Payson Roundup. Reach him at email@example.com