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Social Media for Government

PSDS1002 – Public Service Digital Skills Curriculum

8 hours over 2 days online or in person.

Training for those in government communications teams and those new to social media in government departments and agencies.

Empower citizens, build trust: Mastering social media strategies for government engagement.

Australia’s population of 26 million in 2024 includes 21 million internet users, with 18 million active social media users, making social media platforms essential for government agencies to communicate with the public. With 45% of Australians born overseas or having parents born overseas, demographic changes are reshaping government operations, including policymaking, service delivery, and engagement. Culturally and linguistically diverse communities are now central to stakeholder engagement for government agencies. Communication and stakeholder engagement specialists recognise the importance of using social media platforms to connect with diverse audiences. However, the emphasis has often been on accuracy, protocols, and approval processes, with a perceived failure to create empathetic and people-centred content.

This course aims to prepare and present messaging and channels online while balancing respect for audience and stakeholders with just-in-time approvals and publishing. Participants will gain a better understanding of how to tailor social media strategies, make informed decisions, and drive better outcomes through effective online communication.

Course Modules

Day 1 Module 1: Understanding Social Media in Government

The role of social media in government

• Historical and current context of social media use in government
• Evaluating the potential and challenges of social media for government communication

Creating engaging, empathetic content for diverse audiences

• Understanding the diverse Australian social media landscape
• Identifying audience demographics and tailoring content appropriately

Day 1 Module 2: Navigating Platforms & Finding Your Voice

Navigating different social media platforms

• Overview of various platforms and their unique features
• Strategic use of platforms based on audience demographics and content type

Understanding your themes, values and voice based on your audience and objectives

• Understanding what your key themes and topics are
• Identifying who your internal and external stakeholders are
• Identifying where the roadblocks are to approvals
• Forming this into an effective social communications strategy

Activity: Creating a multi-platform content strategy identifying key stakeholders and addressing bottlenecks

• Identify your key themes
• Identify your key stakeholders
• Identify your values and voice
• Where are the bottlenecks and what can be done to work better with them?
• How does this look as a strategy for your social communications?

Day 2 Module 1: Engaging with the Public

Finding a balance: Protocol vs. Openness

• Balancing openness and protocol in government social media communication
• Strategies for fostering healthy online community engagement

Crisis Management in Social Media Communication

• Handling negative feedback and misinformation online
• Strategies for maintaining credibility during crises

Day 2 Module 2: Social Media for Improved Service Delivery

Social Networking vs Creator Media

• How usage of social media has changed since 2018
• Leaning into how social media is being used now

Forming a Content Strategy

• Themes, Values and the Questions to Answer
• Planning evergreen and seasonal content