Just about every law enforcement agency uses their social media accounts to disseminate information to their community around situations such as missing person reports, arrest notices, severe weather updates, and incident reports. These functional uses are necessary and a foundational piece of any law enforcement department’s social media presence.
However, the unique aspect of social media that distinguishes it from newspapers, local news reports, or other media resources is the ability to connect with the audience that follows your profiles.
Social media is the community engagement field for today’s digital age. Going beyond simply distributing public notices and arrest notifications, social media provides departments another outlet for humanizing their department, reaching the public in a relevant way, and overall connecting in a way that goes beyond arrests and tickets.
Injecting humor and personality into your social media content will help people develop a mental picture of your department.
We found a great example of this from the Little Elm Police Department in Little Elm, TX. This department has found a unique way to mix humor into how they get information to their community.
Let’s look at the 3 characteristics of Little Elm PD’s social media content that helps it to connect with their community and stand out from other content.
During the recent winter storm in North Texas, Little Elm PD found a way to break through the abundance of content being shared surrounding the dangerous weather conditions by adding a sense of humor to their posts while still sharing useful information and tips to stay safe on the roads.
Relevant Cultural References
Once the weather started improving, they continued on their humorous streak while reminding residents to continue practicing caution while driving, even referencing a popular new Starbucks location, further connecting to followers on a more personal level.
Creative and Strategic
Just about every social media page sends out some type of “Happy <insert holiday name here>” type of post for every holiday important to people and causes important to their organization.
Standing out among this crowd of content is difficult and requires creativity. On their Facebook page, Little Elm PD utilizes current and seasonal events to connect with their followers. For example, around Valentine’s Day, they capitalized on the trend of digital Valentines, creating their own to advertise for their Citizen’s Police Academy.
Along with creativity, this demonstrates another key aspect of this kind of post: strategic purpose. Rather than simply highlighting a holiday, the post uses the holiday to help promote one of the department’s events.
While relaying information is a foundational element of any law enforcement social media presence, these profiles offer departments another avenue to use to connect with their community. Using humor, culturally relevant references, and strategic content can all help departments to connect with their community in a way that is generally positive.
Inserting some personality and humor is just another way to humanize your department, helping people to know your officers.
LAW Digital is a library of social media graphics specifically designed for law enforcement. Use it to keep your social media feed fresh and free up your staff's time to inject some personality into your profiles or focus on other mission critical responsibilities.