Government & Social Media: Best Practices from Utah

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This weekly blog pinpoints huge happenings in the world of Federal government contracting. Check out more on our Twitter account: @RIVA_Solutions. And search our new hashtag, #FedBuzz, for daily updates and join the conversation! Weekly, we, here at RIVA Solutions, like to spotlight government agencies that are leading the way as part of the new social government. We profile the agencies, their public affairs officers, new media directors, web mavens and other gov communicators who give form to the messages that the agencies want to convey. Are you ready to learn about this week’s agency? Read on!

In our own celebration of Independence Day, we decided that we should focus on Social Media Best Practices. After reading the title, you have to wonder who we are going to use to exemplify best practices in Social Media. After much deliberation, we picked Utah.Gov.

Here is why:

Website

Generally when I delve into researching government agencies, I find a long list of links and very little information about the why, aside from the general posting about the White House Open Government Initiative. I am not saying every organization is like this, however a lot of them are either filled with text or not enough information. Utah.gov on the other hand has developed an aesthetically pleasing website, that is geared towards the users and not other government entities. The website is simple and easy to navigate.

Example: When searching for an organization, such as the Utah House of Representatives, on a social network, such as twitter, I simply click on the Twitter directory, followed by a click on the category that they would fall under, Government, and take a quick trip down the list to find the organization. In the middle of the page, however, there is a list of recent tweets from all organizations in that category.

Utah.gov supports 311 government twitter accounts, which may prove difficult when searching for a single entity. However, the quick list of most recent tweets proves to be worth the effort as the recent wildfires are of great importance and the handles are giving residents information that they need.

Social Media

Rep. Johnny Anderson’s Scorecard

The Utah.gov does not limit itself to providing a feed from the twitter accounts, they also provide a feed for the Facebook accounts when you follow a similar process as exemplified above. Utah.gov is built on making information simpler to access, which would explain their culmination of applications (46), widgets (7), in addition to the use of Flipboard and ConnectPlus.

Utah.gov is not limited to the typical social media websites. They are engaging and providing information through a number channels including Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, SlideShare, and iTunes. Utah.gov even uses Google+. I mention this because it is Social Media at it’s finest. I went to look at some of the Google+ pages when I saw the Utah House of Representatives page. I could talk about how they do not have a custom banner picture. However, I find it most important to talk about how they are using the website. They talk about upcoming or current legislature that affect the people of Utah. However, they have also committed themselves to introducing all of the members of the House with a picture and scorecard of information.

Awards

Awards Banner

If I were to say that they have received awards, that would not begin to explain the accolades that Utah.gov has received. After winning over 85 awards, Utah.gov is considered one of the best government websites in the nation. They have won more than 10 awards this year and have received awards for their website since 1996!

I know you are now wondering, what did this whole thing have to do with Independence Day. All I can say is, it is the upcoming holiday and this is our way of celebrating it!

What do you think about Utah.gov?

How can you connect with Utah.gov? Visit them online at http://www.utah.gov/connect

Contact Information

RIVA Solutions
RIVA Solutions
Results Innovation Values Accountability
513 Greenwich Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
P. 202-262-5358  
twitter.com/RIVA_Solutions
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