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For something a little different...this podcast was origianlly recorded as a 'Scope on the Periscope platform, so you'll hear references to the audience and Periscope specific terms...let's see how this goes.
5 Tips To Help You Trick Facebook's Algorithm
Facebook, as a publicly traded company has a responsibility to earn money for it's investors, not to give you what you want...views.
A+B=C, if C then D. If D=T+L then, M.
I have no idea what that means but I know it's a very basic algorithm. A mathematical equation or formula. The language of computer program functionality.
Facebook uses algorithms to determine exactly how your experience will be using the platform based on a multitude of variables, all designed to accumulate data to provide to advertisers to make money to please investors....plain and simple.
"...you mean very little to Facebook..."
Most of us aren't paying Facebook for anything but we are happy to use their infrastructure to post our messages, thoughts, pictures, videos,...you know, content. For a page, this means you mean very little to Facebook unless you are 'paying to play'. But, fewer and fewer people are actually seeing that content, even if it is awesome.
How do you get around this algorithm problem and trick Facebook into pushing your content without paying?
You play within the rules of the algorithm for your own benefit. You understand how the algorithm works and you manipulate it. Here's how.
Facebook loves pictures. Make pictures part of your content. Make the pictures good so that they get attention.
Facebook after allowing native video has seen a dramatic rise in video use and views. Post videos on a regular basis...even if they aren't yours but make sure they are videos people will view.
3) Interaction / Engagement
Make sure you reply to people who comment on your content. Like their comments (if appropriate) and reply, even if it's to just say "Thanks".
4) Share Great Content
If someone else has produced great content that is popular, share it with your audience AND make sure to include where the information came from.
5) Keep Eyes On Your Content
Think long, sticky content. Facebook is now rewarding content that keep eyes on it longer. With your picture, video, shared content, be willing to write "War and Peace". Write a long post that will keep eyes on your content. Just look at what Facebook had to say on one of their own recent blog posts about this:
"For example, you may scroll quickly through your News Feed and like a photo of your friend’s graduation, followed by sharing a funny post from your sister. You keep scrolling and happen upon a post your cousin shared detailing everything she did and saw on her recent trip. Her post even includes a photo.
You spend time reading her post and the interesting discussion about the best places to eat that had broken out in the comments on this post, but you don’t feel inclined to like or comment on it yourself. Based on the fact that you didn’t scroll straight past this post and it was on the screen for more time than other posts that were in your News Feed, we infer that it was something you found interesting and we may start to surface more posts like that higher up in your News Feed in the future."
Adding into the end of tips number five....if you have made it this far, you now see what it means to have a long, sticky post. Even if you don't "like" the post or comment or share it, Facebook will reward this page because your eyes stayed here a lot longer so Facebook knows, there was something to it.
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Need? Do you really need to follow the police on social media? Very simply put, yes you do. You need to follow your local city police, county police and state police.
Some of you may be thinking that, “Tim, I already abide by the laws, I’m a good citizen, why do I need to follow the police? ” Well that’s a great question and the best answer I have is because you are exactly who they need to follow them. That’s right, the police need you to follow them.
Your name is John or Jane. You’re married in your mid thirties. You have 2 children, commute everyday to work in an office, enjoy dinner with your family playing with your kids after eating and on the weekends you do your shopping, get your kids to their activities, catch up with friends and don’t give a second thought to your personal safety.
You are the perfect follower for the police. You see, you make up the vast majority of the tax base of any given community. You rarely require the services of your police and chances are the only contact you have had with them is though a traffic stop or because of that ‘stupid thing you did as a teenager’.
The police need you because you are their secret weapon. You want to know that when you are at work your home is protected. You want to know that you will be safe travelling to and from your office and that while you are there you won’t become the victim of a crime. You want to know that there won’t be any bad people trying to talk to our children in real life or online.
You want to know that the police are there for you, but you never want to need them. Your police department also wants life to be exactly like that. But because of life isn’t just that “Mayberry” you need to follow your police on social media.
The police are holders of vast information and they want to share that information with you because they know something else about you. You will share that information with your friends and family because it will make them safer and protect them from the same things that you are protected from.
The police will share crime prevention information. Things that most of us take for granted like why the bushes in front of our windows should be the kinds with thorns on them or what that little mirror on the bank machine is actually for.
Some police officers will try to inspire young children with creativity and showing them there is more to life than they sometimes see or take them on a camping trip to get them out of the concrete walls that are sometimes their only existence.
They will let you know about crashes and traffic disruptions to ease your commute and the local weather so you know how to dress for the day. The police will warn you about the bad guys and girls that could cause you harm and the ways they will do it, like when you aren’t paying attention on the subway and you find yourself the victim of a smart phone theft.
A great police department on social media will tell you that there are three things needed for a crime to occur:
§ A victim
§ An opportunity
§ A criminal
They will show you how to insulate yourself from becoming a victim and how to remove yourself from the opportunity equation and how to avoid the criminal.
When active crime is happening, you know you can turn to your police for the facts and the information that is credible because they don’t work in speculation or innuendo. Your police aren’t on a timeline for keeping viewers on their channel so they don’t start massive fishing expeditions for the next great rumour.
Is there a criminal in your midst or a new type of crime that is looking for fresh victims? Your police will be providing that information to help make you safer.
Here is one of the best reasons that you should be following your police. They actually want to talk to you! They want to know what concerns you. They want to know what areas of your town you won’t go to after dark. They want to know what you believe they could do better to serve your community. Reach out and say “Hello” to your police department and there is a really good chance they will say hello back.
Need a laugh? There are police departments that specialize in adding humor to the social stream because they know the world can be a pretty depressing place some days and everyone could use a little laugh from time to time and they like to show their lighter side…
To give you the best reason to follow your local police, I have to go back 185 years to the birth of modern policing and the man who put in place the rules that still exist today. Sir Robert Peel is the father of modern policing and in 1829 he developed the Peels Principals of Policing.
One of those principles, the seventh, states, “… the police are the public and that the public are the police…” In other words, we all need to be there for each other. The police are members of the public and while they will come to our aid, we must also come to theirs and also to one another. If following, liking, retweeting, subscribing and sharing their information is the best we can do then we should all do it.
Ever think what your town would be like without crime? Imagine a place where tax dollars can be directed at social programs, school lunch and breakfast programs, senior care programs because as a community you insulated yourself so well against crime and made such a strong stance against criminals that the purpose of the police was just to maintain order and give advice as opposed to chasing the bad people around and burdening the courts! Sure, that’s a bit of a pipe-dream, but where would we be today if the dreamers of yesterday didn’t succeed.
Search the name of your police department, go to their website and look for their social icons so that you can help your city, your community and yes, even yourself be a little safer, more aware, educated and sometimes even entertained.
If your police aren’t everything I’ve described, let me know. I’ll reach out to them for you.
The episode is brought to you by....
Chris Rasmussen has been a police officer for 20 years and works with the Redwood City Police Department.
He is a devoted family man, community member and all around great guy. I've been following Chris for many years and consider him one of the "OGs" of law enforcment's social media use.
Redwood City has a diverse population but the greatest population base there speaks SPanish so it only seemed logical to Chris that they should establish a Spanish Police presence with their social media efforts.
Chris is repsonsible for the creation and implementation of his departments social strategy and is the primary point for dissemination, monitoring and engagement...and he is also a front line officer...kind of takes away the excuse for no time.
This episode is brought to you by:
You can't argue that great use of social media for your agency (business) is both an art form and a science. Chances are you want to increase your voice in the social space and understanding how to use both artistic creativity combined with science will improve your ability to be shared.
1) Quote or ReTweet:
I have become a huge fan of the Quote feature especially in those instances that I want to add my thoughts about why I'm sharing the information.
2) If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get:
Be willing to ask your audience to retweet you. While "Please RT" is good, actually spelling it out is even better, "Please RETWEET."
3) Make it Valuable:
While some tweets can be 'just for fun' or 'just because', nothing is as important to sharing as the actual content you put out. Put out great content that is value based on your audience needs and you'll see more shares.
4) What's In A Number:
If your tweet has a number in it, use the numerical value instead of the long version. Using a number shows an increase of 17% in retweets, not seventeen percent.
5) Think About News and Instructions:
Everyone wants to be on the front edge of sharing great information that is relevant or helpful to others. The most popular things people want to share are news, instructional information, entertainment, opinions and products.
If your audience is most active online at 2:00pm on a Saturday, that would be a great time to put out your content for maximum shares. Commuter times, weekends, lunch time are all considerations to help you make your best time. Your own analytics will tell you as well if you're paying attention.
7) Picture This:
Adding pictures to your tweets can dramatically increase the retweets. Pictures also can tell your story for you leaving you with less typing to get your thoughts across.
Like pictures, good hashtags can slice your character count. They can act like chapters in a book explaining the content without using a lot of words. Be careful on how many you use. 2-3 maximum per tweet. Going beyond that can make your tweet look like spam.
9) Link It:
Using link in your tweet has shown positive retweets and better awareness of what you are trying to message. Placement matters here as well. Links that are between 75 and 90 percent of the way into a tweet increases their purpose.
10) Be a Retweeter:
One of the cornerstones of social interaction is 'returning the favor'. Want to get retweets? Retweet others AND GIVE CREDIT. When you see other people's great information share it, but make sure you include that person in your tweet as a "@ via", "@mention" or just an organic retweet itself.
Today's point to ponder is brought to you by:
Policies, procedures, guidelines and training all attempt to help and guide a law enforcement officer's decision-making and set the boundaries for what should and shouldn't be done. But, is that enough?
Police are to be neutral and leave their opinions at the door when they walk out on the street to enforce laws and protect the public. All too often lately we are seeing that the opinions expressed while off-duty can easily carry over into their on-duty existence.
Agencies are struggling with the idea of protecting an individuals right to freedom of speech while balancing that freedom with protecting the reputation of the department, or more importantly the reputation and effectiveness of the officer.
It is very easy to get emotionally charged up and try to express what you are feeling on the playground of social media but that expression can cost you.
Yes you have rights protecting your speech, but in the grander scheme of things, should you exercise them? In some cases, absolutely not.
Officers are getting investigated and disciplined for expressing their thoughts in their private lives which may never be shown or expressed while working. You may be incredible at dividing your personal feelings from your work obligations and never do anything wrong, but one post, like, share on social can be used against you in your profession, rightly or wrong...that's reality.
The BEST way to protect yourself is just to refrain from making a post that will bring your integrity, reputation and professionalism into question.
Today's Podcast is brought to you by:
Chief Billy Grogan has been a fan, user and teacher of social media for law enforcement as long as he has been the Chief. In fact, he is the @LESMChief on Twitter!
Chief Grogan knew from the time that Dunwoody Georgia Police came into existence, social and digital media would play a role in how they would engage with their community, build relationships and foster an environment that allowed a trusting relationship to grow.
In the beginning it was only Chief Grogan at the controls of the Dunwoody PD presence, but with your executive supporting the medium, it didn't take long for the agency to put more and more people into place to carry the voice of the agency.
Chief Grogan has complied all he has learned into the pages of a brand new book,
Chief Grogan has put some considerable thought into this book. Tips, tricks, tools, policy, examples...every page has information that has the most important element you would want...useable content!
I highly recommend Chief Grogan's book which you can order by following this link: Twitter: A Guide For Law Enforcement
This episdoe is brought to you by...
Instagram is the social media platform that out performs every other platform in terms of pure engagement.
The Basics – Point and Shoot
Fill Out Your “Bio” Section
Make sure your bio is complete. Take the time to fill it out correctly. You really want people to know who you are and what you’ll be sharing.
Learn How to Take Great Pictures on Your Phone
The mobile nature of your smart phone combined with Instagram is the perfect pairing for an awesome presence, but you have to take great pictures to start. Learn about the settings in your smart phone. Most high end smart phones now have some pretty amazing options that can compete with a decent DSLR, but it really is still just a camera on a phone…it will never be as good as a full blown camera. (See filters for more on this.)
Get the most out of your DSLR
Share your DSLR photos with your mobile device. New cameras have WiFi cards that make this process seamless and transfer your pictures directly to your phone. Get in the habit of taking pictures continually and loading them to a file that can be accessed through your phone for easy posting at a later time.
The five best pictures I have shared on Instagram have been scenery pictures. Sunsets, blue skies, a stream and a spider’s web rocked the likes and comments. While they may have nothing to do with policing, people like to see great scenery shots so give them your best once a week.
If you like it then you better put a filter on it.
Instagram offers awesome filtering capabilities. Experiment with them. Even though some appear the same, there are subtle similarities that you can have a lot of fun with. Not every picture looks great with the same filters so play with them.
The other toys
Blur, contrast, sharpness, tilt, warmth…so many choices to play with that can have a dramatic impact on your pictures. Experiment…you’ll be amazed with what you can do to a normal picture to turn it into an art piece.
Intermediate – Start thinking beyond immediacy and ‘build’ a picture using tools for editing photos.
Brand your pictures.
Every picture should be branded with something that says ‘you’. Add at the very least your Twitter ID on the picture and keep it in the same place every time.
Add quotes, sayings, memes.
Have a picture of a police officer and a member of the public shaking hands, hugging, high-5’ing? Add Peel’s quote, “The public are the police, the police are the public” to it. Working together
Memes tend to get a lot of traction on Instagram, so take advantage of this type of viral-style image by creating your own graphic and text combinations. Use the Meme Generator website to research current meme trends, as well as make your own to share.
Experiment With Video Clips
Use the video capabilities. You can tell a lot with those 15 available seconds if you do it right. Every week, do a 15 second safety video.
Give a “Behind the Scenes” Look
Show your followers an inside look of policing. Things that we take for granted, the public might really like. A locker room, a roll call (parade) shot, the radio, fingerprint tools (livescan / old ink blotter),
If you like using hashtags, then Instagram is for you. Instagram allows up to 30 per image so think of all the hashtags you can add to your art. You want to build an audience so think about what your fans talk about and also what other police interests are. Here’s a list:
#police #policeofficers #hero #cops #cop #coplife #policelife #lawenforcement #corrections #correctionofficers #911 #heroes #thinblueline #officers #respectthem #brotherhood #blueblood #family #bluefamily #copfamily #policefamily #firstresponders #copwife #policewife
Pro Tip: use two hashtags in your image description then post it. Then be the first to comment on your picture using all other relevant and useful hashtags. I love using the desktop for this multiple hashtags tactic.
Share your Instagram Pics on other platforms
Don’t limit your Instagram pictures to Instagram. Post your Instagram links to Facebook, Twitter and any other social media service you use in order to grow your user base and provide followers on other networks with valuable content. Instagram allows for cross populations, but be careful doing this. Once you have filtered and touched up your photos and they are perfect, then take the time to add that photo natively to the other platforms.
Focus on Community
Build a following through your Instagram account. You want your following to feel like a community around you so build it with that in mind. Give your followers a ‘name’ and refer to them collectively in posts.
Create an Instagram contest
Contests are great for getting people involved and bringing attention to your program. Have a contest where your audience sends you great Instagram worthy pics around a theme, “people and the police” or caption this photo are some great ideas for you to try out.
If someone comments on your pics, thank them. If someone asks a question, answer them. Go through your followers and comment on their pics, like their art. Show you are part of their community as well.
If a picture can tell a story, think what a progression of pictures can tell. Create a hashtag around a specific event or a title for a series of pictures and tells story using the pictures. Think of a recruit class…follow them along through their training with a few weekly pictures of their activities from first class to graduation.
Collage your pictures
If you are at an event share lots of pictures from that one event using a third party app to collage the pictures.
Today's point to ponder is brought to you by...
So many of us started out our working life by sitting at the side of a road, at the end of our driveway with a sign that read, "Lemonade." It's almost a childhood rite of passage to try and earn some extra money by selling lemonade, kool-aid or cold water on a hot day.
I can't tell you how many times while riding my police motor or driving the squad that I would stop at a lemonade stand and buy a glass and talk with kids and parents alike...brings back sweet memories of happy kids, appreciative parents and a kind of interaction that went unnoticed but never unappreciated.
Sgt. Ben Becchetti + Officer Dave Pecoraro of the Palo Alto Police Department know that exact feeling and they shared their love of community building through taking the time to chug back some lemonade, sharing a laugh with kids, letting them see the inside of a police car and learning more about serving and protecting with Lieutenant Zach Perron.
Lt Perron got to thinking and saw a great opportunity to get more of the Palo Alto Police involved with this form of community outreach and invited the public to let them know where road side stands were so that officers could indulge on a hot summer day.
The feedback from the community has been amazing and the initiative is spreading across the country. This once unseen form of community building now can now be seen through the use of social media.
#CopsLoveLemonadeStands is being embraced by police officers and agencies because of how simple it is to take part in and how much of a positive impact it has in their communities.
How much good will is being created with communities by a simple act like this? What kind of price tag can you put on leaving a lasting, good and positive memory in the mind of our youth?
Get out there and join this movement...who knows, in the winter we can swing back for a visit becasue, #CopsLoveHotCocoa
Lt. Perron also wrote an excellent piece about this for the International Association Of Chiefs of Police: http://blog.iacpsocialmedia.org/Home/tabid/142/entryid/423/Default.aspx
Take a look on Twitter at the hashtag #CopsLoveLemonadeStands to see how great this is.
Thanks to Lt Perron for joining on The Police Podcast today. You can follow along with the Palo Alto Police on social media:
Lt Perron on Twitter https://twitter.com/zpPAPD
The episode is brought to you by...
How would you like to get 1.2 MILLION Facebook likes, in 48 HOURS???
Nick Whitney, owner of Tread Armament and Weaponry put out a challenge to help equip Tank, a Washington Utah police K9 in training, with body armor if Tank could get 1 million likes in one year.
Well, Tank got the 1 million likes but it only took 48 hours!!
That got my attention and I had to talk to Nick about his offer and why he put it out there with Vesting America's Police K-9s, Tank and Tread Armament.
Nick is a down to earth business owner who just wants to give back and it was great talking to him about his efforts.
There was a bonus in all of this that Tread Armament and Weaponry is a huge police supporter and provides equipment for both law enforcement and the general public.
Please visit all of those involved in this great effort to get one of our K9's equipped with potentially life saving gear...did I say one? My mistake...a side part of the campaign was the establishment of a "Go Fund Me" initiative that has raised enough money (at the time of recording) to outfit 11 K9s!!!
Vesting America's Police K9s
Website (Go Fund Me) http://www.gofundme.com/VestAPoliceK9
and of course
Tank on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TankPoliceK9
Today's episode is brought to you by...
Public Information Officers from across the country gathered in Arlington, Texas for the International Association of Chiefs of Police Mid-Year Public Information Officers Conference hosted by the Arlington and Fort Worth Police Department's.
It was a great three days of learning, teaching and networking with like minded people that are all committed to advancing the ability of police agencies to build relationships, trust and transparency within their communities.
In this episode I recap what went on and some of the major take-aways that I had.