Information Sharing In the Age of Covid
States, counties and municipalities are anxious to publish accurate information to help keep their communities safe in this time of crisis. But are they using best social sharing practices? In some cases, the answer is no. Best practices in the past might have meant publishing news releases as PDFs and emailing to media, but in today’s rapidly evolving news cycle, with the vast majority of the population sharing information through social media, this can actually hamper getting your message out. Follow these tips to enhance your official information sharing on COVID-19 for social media shares:
Make It Social Media Friendly
Post all of your critical information as blogs/posts on your website that show up on your home page. The result? All of the latest information stays on top and can easily be electronically updated as things change.
Include social sharing buttons on each blog on your website, allowing visitors to click one simple link to share to Facebook without having to cut and paste a URL. (This is not the same as adding links to your social media pages for people to like and follow). Your IT department can easily add social sharing to your website like the ones hovering on the right of this page
Link Back to Official Site
The added benefit? Clicks from social media sharing come back to the original, official source of information. Why is that important? Inevitably rumors and misinformation will spread as the pandemic progresses, and reliable sources of information will be sought more and more.
Include an appropriate feature photo or video for your blog which will result in more engagement across social media channels. DO NOT include an image of a PDF or flier. The image serves as an attention grabber – so to make it visually interesting, a graphic or photo should be featured. Another reason not to feature your flier or PDF? When there are too many words in a featured graphic, your post cannot be boosted on social media.
Include an option for interested readers to subscribe to your announcements either via RSS feed or newsletter. This allows your information sharing on COVID-19 to take place automatically with the news coming directly from the official source.
Use each blog as an opportunity to encourage more engagement by providing links to other important information on your website and/or social media platforms.
Although Google can index an uploaded PDF or Word file, it can be problematic depending on how you have saved your document. Blog posts are easily indexed by Google. This means your post can be found in a Google search – especially if you add schema markup. You can also track your engagement using Google Analytics and boost posts that are most important on your social media platforms.
Get more notice online for your posts by following our free SEO tools.
I hope this helps local governments better disseminate their essential information during this crisis. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.