How police can take advantage of Facebook’s Algorithm. Posted by Tyler Wood.
It’s 2018. Facebook is over a decade old and is still not only one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, but an integral part of seemingly everybody’s life. Organizations of all types use Facebook to reach out to their target audience whether they be the local community, potential buyers, etc…
Law enforcement organizations are no exception. Over the past decade or so, police departments around the globe have found that reaching out to their community via social media can lead to a better relationship between the police and the people they protect. It can also be a great way to crowdsource tips that could be of immense value to law enforcement.
An important aspect of social media use is understanding the algorithms that prioritize what content is seen by whom. The more people can see a post, the more the community becomes engaged with the content being shared. There are several ways to manipulate Facebook’s algorithm.
One of these ways is to share and re-share content. Every Facebook page has at least one administrator. After posting the content on the Police Department page, the admin(s) can share the the post from their personal account to get more views. Another way to ensure visibility is to curate posts so that they appeal to the target audience. Viewers will share content on their own pages more often if that content relates to them. It is important to let the audience know that they and their law enforcement live and work within the same community.
It is also important to engage with the community. Posts with more comments get pushed up higher in people’s news feeds. If a person comments on a post it is a great idea to comment back. Engaging in conversation not only makes the community feel more in touch with law enforcement, but it also helps the content to be seen by more people. Of course, there is another side to this engagement… most notably, the opportunity for mistakes and abuse.
Other helpful tips include: Share news. The way Facebook’s algorithm is set up favors content from news sources. These posts will typically be prioritized over other types of posts. It is also wise to take advantage of Facebook’s Live feature. Live videos are typically viewed over twice as many times as recorded ones.
Using these tips, law enforcement should be able to actively and effectively engage with and reach out to the communities they police. Good PR fosters good police work.