Budgeting, It’s a Balancing Act
Have a voice in your government. Show your elected officials how you’d balance the budget.
Budgets are, arguably, the most direct way a community expresses what is important. Should the focus be parks and recreation? Public health? Police? Helping the homeless? If the answer is yes to all—how are we going to pay for it?
Balancing Act is a fun and easy way for residents to learn about public budgets and the choices their elected officials face in the budgeting process. It allows participants to try allocating funds— expressing their priorities and preferences — but also requires them to balance spending and revenue.
Balancing Act was designed for those individuals interested in taking an active role in making their community better by sharing their voice. It is an interactive, online budgeting simulator for state and local governments’ residents.
Balancing Act brings people and government officials closer together in an informed conversation about what priorities are in everyone’s best interests. Because it is online it is accessible to anyone at any time and is far more convenient than a traditional public meeting or budget hearing.
Currently, Balancing Act supports municipal budgets. County, school district and state budget models will be added later in 2015. More to come for 2016! Keep an eye out for this one!
Just Analyze It
Look no further – Simply Measured provides free social media analytics tools.
- Learn about your twitter followers, from interests to influence.
- Measure your Instagram engagement, content, trends and more.
- How healthy is your Facebook Fan Page? Study trends and timing.
- In-depth analysis of your Facebook Fan Page visitors’ demographics and activity.
- Compare your Facebook Fan Page against your competitors’.
- Analyze the performance of your content on Facebook.
- Understand your Google+ Page “circlers” engagement and more.
- Study your LinkedIn Company Page followers and your content performance.
- Analyze the performance of your Vine clips on Twitter.
- Find out how social media impacts your website performance.
You might hear someone in your organization, community, or neighborhood talking about Buffering….but, what does that mean? I use it all the time as a noun and a verb. For example, “I love Buffer”…or….”just Buffer that!” Buffer is an application – free to download and accessible from your pc/tablet/smartphone.
Buffer is a great tool that will help you in two main ways. First, you can write a bunch of posts at one time, and choose which social profiles to send them to, and then Buffer will spread them out throughout the day or week so that you don’t have to be at a computer all the time in order to have a social media presence. Second, Buffer shortens your links. They provide more analytics than if you just were to post to Twitter or Facebook directly. For example, Buffer will tell you exactly how many folks clicked on each of your links.
There are a few simple steps to getting set up. First, connect your social media profiles. Then, for each profile, hop into the “Schedule” tab to choose the days and times that your posts will go out. To add a post, click the “what do you want to share” box at the top of the page, and type or paste in your post. Then, once you add it to your Buffer, you will see it under the “buffer” tab for those profiles.
I use it for all four of my twitter handles, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts! The content is fun, invigorating, creative, motivational, inspiring, and different. Go ahead – try it out! Give your social media profile a lift! Buffer it up!
As social media users, we seek likes, shares, comments, and retweets as at least a surface indicator of how we’re doing with our Facebook Page/Twitter Account/LinkedIn Profile. We facilitate conversations and encourage interactions, creating opportunities for fans and followers to build connections. The question is – how do we source and leverage great content to boost interactions? Here are few ways:
1. Be Visible with “Weight”
With the launch of Facebook Timeline, engagement is increasingly important for achieving visibility in users’ news and activity feeds. We know that Facebook’s complex algorithm for determining visibility is largely affected by three factors: affinity, weight, and timeliness. Posts that contain videos, photos, and links hold more “weight.” These shareable posts appear in more feeds and incite more interactions, ultimately increasing reach potential. The bottom line is this: the ultimate driver for high visibility and ongoing engagement is compelling, quality content.
2. Monitor and Join Ongoing Conversations
Photos and videos are highly shareable, but real-time conversations provide great opportunities to make you visible. Look at trending topics on Twitter and craft real-time tweets to weigh in. See what topics are gaining steam on your own personal Facebook feed, and determine whether you could offer a meaningful contribution to the conversation. If your followers enjoy your posts, they will engage with and amplify your content.
3. Go Where Your Followers Spend Time
This is the one time where it’s socially acceptable to invite yourself to the party. Seek out the forums and discussion boards where your followers are sharing ideas and links. Look at their conversations on Twitter. Read the blogs they follow and the ones they share on LinkedIn. Glance at their Pinterest boards. Go where your followers spend time and talk about what they talk about. Use your creativity and start conversations about what matters most to them!
Sources: Edelman Digital
SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY
By Adriana Hemzacek
Have you tried MetroQuest?
MetroQuest has been designed around the following formula:
broad engagement + informed input = community support for great plans
What is MetroQuest?
Want to check it out?
MetroQuest is one of the public engagement tools that will be represented during the Tech Fair at the 2014 North American Conference in Winnipeg this fall.