Staffordshire Police’s Facebook page has been highlighted in Parliament as a great example of social media engagement at a House of Lords Select Committee hearing on communications, which was looking into social media offences.
Simon Milner, Facebook’s policy director for the UK, Middle East and Africa, cited the way Staffordshire Police engaged with Facebook fans, “Some of the best examples we see of this type of communication is actually by police.”
So here are some observations about some of the great elements of the Staffordshire Police Facebook Page that you can learn from and consider using on your Page.
1) A clear message about the purpose of the Page - This is stated under Mission and repeated in the short description on the front of the Page - “Keeping our communities safe and reassured.”
2) Full use of Facebook’s Timeline feature which illustrates key events and officers in the Force’s history - Select the dates on the right hand side of the Page to view highlights such as the 1950 photo of Sgt William Colclough outside Stoke town hall with actress Margaret Lockwood and in 1996 Mounted Branch Officers.
4) Use of Facebook Apps - An app is used to obtain visitors’ feedback on Open Day - Staffordshire Police Open Day Feedback Survey. Note that the link in the post to the survey points to the web version of the survey and not the Facebook App, so that it can be viewed on mobile. It’s confusing that there is a Report HATE Crime online app as the About section clearly states, “Please do not use this site to report a crime”. In any event the app isn’t working so perhaps the intention is to remove it.
5) Facebook Posts that are both engaging and effective - The main strength of the Page are the regular engaging posts often accompanied with photos. They are a mix of reports of Police activity, appeals for help in solving crimes and useful crime prevention messages eg Don’t let a burglar ruin your holiday which since being published on 9 July has 96 Likes and 95 shares (as at 14 July ).