The City of

MIssourI soCIAl MeDIA PlAn

@KarlAchey, @TonyBotts, @MichaelDuntz, @ChaseIlsley, @KeriPeterson and @AriannaWatson

Table of Contents
#Table of Contents #History #Social Media Footprint #The City of Maryville #Saint Joseph #Northwest Missouri State University #Mission Statement #Message & Delivery #Key Influences #Engagement #Content Strategy #Twitter #Facebook #Localizing Content #Flickr #Social Media Intern #Measurability #Contact Information 3 4 4-5 4 4 4-5 5 5 5 6 6-8 6 7 7 8 8 8 9

#TableofContents 3

The City of Maryville was formed in 1845 and acts as the seat of Nodaway County. Named after its first white woman settler, Mary House Graham, the City of Maryville is part of a bustling agricultural community and is also home to Northwest Missouri State University. The university was founded in 1905 as a teacher’s college and is now recognized as a state-accredited university. The City of Maryville offices are located at 415 N. Market Street and oversee numerous departments:
Maryville Community Center Water & Sewer Billing Parks & Recreation Human Resources Municipal Court Trash & Hauling Public Safety Public Works Mozingo Finance Airport Maps

The City of Maryville’s social media efforts are currently modest, being represented by a Facebook fan page since 2010, as well as a Twitter account formed in 2011, both run by a city employee who works a separate, full-time job for the city. The city prides itself on its website, as well as RSS feeds. Currently targeting local citizens, the City of Maryville hopes to expand and grab the interest of prospective tourists as well as university students to express the opportunities that Maryville has to offer. The attitude towards the City of Maryville through its current social media endeavors (also known as the social media sentiment) is positive, but minimal, due to a lack of public interest in its current social media endeavors. Its Facebook and Twitter accounts are used mainly for one-way communication, merely posting public notices.

The City of Maryville
The City of Maryville’s Facebook fan page has 197 people who currently “Like” the page, 17 people were considered to be “talking” about the city, and 430 people have checked into Maryville. The month of October gained the city five “Likes” and six additional visits. The page itself is quite simple: The description of Maryville in the “About Me” mentions the city as a “Government Organization,” the seat of Nodaway County, the home of Northwest Missouri State University, and mentions its office’s closing hours. There is very little interaction; however, when people have a request, the city usually responds promptly. Mainly, the city’s posts are public notices that are then fed to its other social medium, Twitter, through TwitterFeed. The lack of interaction on Twitter is also met with a lack of followers. Only 56 people follow the city, and there are no “@ mentions,” which shows there isn’t interaction with the people the city is hoping to engage.

Saint Joseph:
The City of Maryville’s main competitor, we believe, is the city of St. Joseph, which does significantly better when it comes to its social media efforts. Its Facebook accounts for 6,732 “Likes”, 356 “check-ins”, and 10,375 people who have talked about it. When we reviewed its Twitter account, we found that it was also much more engaged than our client, with 16,992 Tweets sent and 1,682 people following those Tweets. St. Joseph is also interacting with its community by following others (830 in total, as of the creation of this plan). It is also noteworthy that the city of St. Joseph has also ventured into other media, such as YouTube. However, the effort put into these other platforms is minimal (it last updated its YouTube three years ago), and this lack of attention may only be hurting its efforts.

Northwest Missouri State University:
We considered Northwest to be a competitor of the City of Maryville. Even though the events of the university are mainly located in the city, many students, to some degree, don’t fully utilize the opportunities that the City of Maryville offices are responsible for promoting. The university boasts an impressive 87,771 “Likes” on Facebook, 2,061 people have been talking about the university, and 20,652 “check-ins” have been made on campus. The Facebook page is updated frequently, and the interaction is helping the
4 #socialMediaFootprint

overall sentiment of the public toward them. On Twitter, the university has sent 3,406 Tweets to its 4,142 followers, many of which are re-tweets that it believes its followers would appreciate seeing, utilizing the efforts made by others, to its benefit. The university shows an interest in its followers by following a number of its followers’ back, which promotes positive interaction. It is also valuable to note that there are numerous other platforms the university uses, such as YouTube, which has potential to broaden the target audience even further.

The mission of our social media plan is simple. We want to provide a clear and functional source of information within the Maryville community, as well as provide an open channel for engagement and interaction.

From our conversations with representatives from the city, as well as conversations with fellow students, we have deduced that the message we would like to deliver is one that contains a much higher level of engagement and up-to-date information. People tend to look to social media for things that are useful to them. People create their own networks of social relationships based on the root of their interests. Furthermore, if the content the user sees upon first glance does not immediately catch their attention, the user will not be interested in continuing a social media relationship with the city. There has been a clear lack of interest in current endeavors due to the lack of content that relates to the audience of social media users, as shown by the current numbers of people who have visited the city’s current platforms. We believe that with more engagement, we can broaden the city’s audience and gain more “followers” and “likes.” Our plan includes engaging with current opinion leaders who have already established themselves with the city’s audience. Rather than merely tapping into the competitors’ audience, we have used the free tools provided by and to locate the city’s audience. Both provide information regarding not only the reach of the city’s posts, but also the users who are active in its social media audience. From a search of “Maryville, MO,” we easily found seven influencers who have a substantial following of the city and are reading Tweets, viewing photos/videos, and leaving comments that pertain to “Maryville, MO”:
engaging in conversation with these opinion leaders, a relationship will be created. The goal would for them to mention the city to their followers to foster buzz, what’s refered to as a digital word-of-mouth campaign.

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To work toward our mission statement, the City of Maryville needs to further engage its audience by using content they want to see such as questions, photos, polls, comment conversations, and useful information. Being more proactive on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr by using these things will attract a larger audience. To maintain an engaging relationship, some norms for all social media to incorporate throughout all content include: • Using personable, informal language whenever possible to communicate without intimidation • Utilizing personal messages • Stimulating conversation by asking for the opinions of others • Providing useful, current information to the audience • Not only being a sender of information, but also a receiver: Example: Following others, reading and re-tweeting others, commenting back, etc …

A large part of this strategy is knowing what should be posted in each of the various social networks and how to effectively utilize each social medium. Some things that are posted to Twitter should be changed to accommodate users on Facebook, and vice versa. We’ve focused specifically on Facebook and Twitter. We feel as though these platforms will be most effective to reach the city’s audience. We’ve broken down the tools of each platform to better explain how the city can utilize each of these networks to a higher degree.

A chart describing how to better utilize Tweet & tools.

A sample Tweet, utilizing some of these tools.

We would like to see the City of Maryville’s Twitter account be the place to post breaking news quickly (road closures, school closings, emergency notices, etc.) Post public notices as you have, but with a bit of a teaser as to what the content of the notice includes. Also, follow other users who are prominent in the community (ex. local businesses, people who follow you, local figures, etc.), and re-tweet valid, useful information from those other sources in the community that pertain to the City of Maryville’s audience.

6 #Contentstrategy

We would like to see the City of Maryville’s Facebook page as a place to post pictures of events, polls and questions about current issues, public notices as the city currently does (again, with a better preview of what they are going to be looking at), and as a place for the city to comment back on the feedback it will receive from each post, creating an engaging relationship with those who participate in its conversations.

Above: A chart describing how to better utilize Facebook and its tools. # left: How Facebook can be used to publish content.

Localizing Content
To put content from these networks into a local scenario, let’s imagine that there was an unexpected road closure on Walnut Street. There are two separate approaches to the same story. A good Tweet would look like this: Walnut street will be closed until Nov. 30 due to unforeseen circumstances. More info: #WalnutClosed Due to the 140 character limit of a Tweet the post is short and to the point, teasing what the issue is, and providing a link to more information, while also providing a hashtag for people to join in the conversation. A good Facebook post for the exact same event could look like this: Attention Drivers: Walnut street will be closed until Nov. 30th due to a water main break that is being fixed. Help others by commenting the best detours in the comments section. A Facebook post comes with a built-in location for conversation in the comments section. Also, there is not as small of a size-limitation as there is with Twitter so, you can include more specifics and direct a conversation as you see fit.

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Another platform we suggest to promote engagement is Flickr, which is a platform the city is currently being mentioned on. Below is a chart describing ways to utilize it and its tools.

Flickr is a great way for people to interact through photographs of various things. The content is simply photos. This would not be a place to post information, but rather post photos of Maryville and events sponsored by the city. With those photos, the city (as well as others) can tag those photos with descriptive words, locations, or even the names of other Flickr users so that they can potentially see pictures of themselves at those events or around the City of Maryville. We also thought it could be engaging to promote the Flickr account at events that the city sponsors so people can post their photos of the event in one common place. From there, users can comment, share, tag the photos, and relive the memories of that event.

Before becoming overwhelmed by all of these specificities, we should also mention an idea that we found potentially exciting. During our conversations with City of Maryville representatives, the idea of a social media intern was discussed. With this, not only would the city not have to worry about finding someone who is capable of posting quality content but, the intern would be gaining quality experience that he or she can use in their future.

To measure the progress of the city’s social media presence and progress, there are many online monitoring tools available. Three examples of such tools are Social Mention (, Tweet Reach (, and How Sociable ( Each of these websites focuses on a different aspect of social media presence. Each of these online tools can help the city measure different platforms. With Social Mention, the city can: • Find out who is talking about “City of Maryville MO” on social media • Find out what the sentiment is (that is, whether the posts are positive, negative, or neutral) • Find out which platforms, or social media mediums, are being used (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter) • Find out the “reach,” or how far the city’s influence goes • Find out how many people are mentioning the “City of Maryville MO” With Tweet Reach, the city can: • Find out who is Tweeting about it most (your “Top Contributors”) • Find out the number of accounts reached (current is 11,323) • Find out the number of contributors, or people posting about “Maryville MO” With How Sociable, the city can: • Find out the platforms in which it currently has activity, or people talking about it. As of the week of Nov. 15, Maryville showed activity on YouTube, LinkedIn, and Foursquare. • Find out the magnitude of its social media reach (on a scale from 1-10, find out the amount of activity the City of Maryville is having in each platform) • Use every week to measure the progress of the city’s magnitude, or amount of activity, on each social media platform By taking some of the current measurements we’ve offered and comparing them to measurements the city can acquire in 3-6 months from now (using these same online tools), the City of Maryville can measure its progress in social media.
8 #Measurability

Karl Achey, Tony Botts, Michael Duntz, Chase Ilsley, Keri Peterson and Arianna Watson,,,,,
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#2012 #northwestMissouristateuniversity #socialMediastrategies #TheCityofMaryville