A Social Media Toolkit for Councils?

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[caption id=”attachment_188” align=”alignright” width=”292” caption=”Spanners Made in Birmingham England by Whiteforge on Flickr”]Spanners Made in Birmingham England by Whiteforge on Flickr[/caption]

A thought occurred to me when driving to work this morning (‘cos I’m sad like that) about the kinds of services councils need to manage their social media (in particular Twitter) presence well.

This is particularly pertinent with the demise of Twitapps, which, amongst other things, allows you to keep tracks of @ replies via email. I’ve found this really useful for both my work and personal accounts, and it’s going to be a shame when it goes.

I also use a variety of other services, such as Hootsuite and Social Oomph, as well as using Netvibes to see all my RSS Twitter search feeds in one place.

This is a lot of stuff to manage, a lot of places to have passwords, and means I’m putting a lot of faith in the cloud and it got me thinking, why don’t we put all this stuff in one place?

Therefore, I’ve put together this post to gauge interest in a ‘one stop shop’ for councils to manage their social media presence, as well as getting ideas for the kind of stuff that could be introduced - I’m thinking mainly Twitter for now because of the flexibility of their API, but we could also bring in other stuff like Facebook, and the social media firehose.

Not only would this make things easier for councils who are already using social media, it would also help many others get on board, who may be intimidated or put off by the sheer amount of things they need to sign up for.

Some of the feature ideas I’ve got so far are:

  • @ reply notification

  • New follower management (a sort of semi-auto follow that lists new followers for that day and allows you to pick and choose if you follow back)

  • RSS feed management (because we don’t live in an ideal world)

  • A sort of stripped-down Hootsuite, which allows anyone with a login to tweet or respond to @ replies quickly and easily

  • Multiple account management

  • Workflow

I’ll add to this list as I think of more and as some are submitted. If this gets off the ground, I’ll probably need some developer support too, so if you’re well-versed in PHP and the Twitter API and would like to help out, please let me know!