Friday, 15 March 2013

UK Police Forces on Social Media - March 2013 Survey Anyone can become their own Media Company

Photo Credit WMP Papal Visit
Here's the third in the series of UK Police on Social Media. As usual, we have the Google Docs Data Set. I make no excuses, it's starting to look a tad messy, that's why I produces a few charts and talk you through them.

All the data is gather by me clicking through and copy, pasting the numbers. It helps me make sense and look for the patterns. Having APIs gathering data is fine, but the more statistics, the less you read.

Twitter There's not much to tell this month. All accounts increased in followers with an average of 4.36% (down from the 10.35% growth last month). City of London, although a small account, grew by 13.6%.

Facebook The two accounts that showed growth were South Wales Police 110% (Red Nose Day Campaign?) and Essex Police 41.5% with Strathclyde gaining a massive 4,967 likes (12.36%).

I'm making no secret to keep the last two paragraphs short. You will see why, when onto get onto the use of video and I wish to prevent a watershed. As Police Forces and as people, we are all different, but there are lessons we can all learn. The key in this area is let those who are excelling, to help those who need it.  

YouTube Accounts at Youtube are starting to look like lap posts spaced out along a road joined by a tiny picket fence. It need not be that way. West Midlands Police stands head and shoulders above the rest (this is so important, I will be following this post with a case study about their last month in video).

I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of a good YouTube Channel and timely uploads. Video, especially on second screens (like a mobile, tablet or laptop) is growing at a meteoric rate. West Midlands are getting 300 to 600 subscribers a month. In my view every Police Force should be getting at least 2,000 subs a month. All you have to do is ask for people to subscribe and tell them why it's essential (I will cover that in the next post). 

YouTube have added a brilliant new clean design called One Channel. It's only been available since 8 March. I'm delighted to see four forces already using it: North Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Surrey and West Yorkshire.

YouTube Uploads This is the most powerful, yet neglected area of Social Media. I survey 49 force YouTube channels. Twenty seven forces added no videos this month. This includes four forces who actually deleted videos. 

There are three reasons I write about the use of media. I'm passionate, I like helping people and I want to know what's round the corner. To do that I have to be Curious, Creative and Consistent (ask questions, make stuff and keep doing it). 

Looking at the chart for YouTube Uploads, I can see one or two super channels developing and many others that will let their channel sit there gathering dust. YouTube views are in the billions. Every adult and (child for that matter) has a smartphone. Video is everywhere.

What I suggest, a structured plan to make sense of video for all police forces (I also have a few posts coming for Police Crime and Commissioners too (they are elected until 2016, so better get cracking with video. I know a few who already have).

The concluding message of this post: Anyone can become their own media company. That means each and every Police Force. [The next post is about YouTube Uploads, why do them, what are they about and do they make a difference in realtime]

Links to other posts in this series:
UK Police on Twitter - When the Accounts Opened
UK Police Forces on Social Media - The February 2013 Survey
UK Police Forces Pass One Million Twitter Followers and
UK Police Forces using Social Media: The January 2013 Survey

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