City of Elk Grove May Want to Tread Lightly on Certain Aspects of Social Media

April 24, 2014 | At the Wednesday night Elk Grove City Council meeting, one of the council members made a passing remark and suggestion...

April 24, 2014 |

At the Wednesday night Elk Grove City Council meeting, one of the council members made a passing remark and suggestion on social media and how the city might use it as one of many economic development tools.

The comment was made by Council Member Pat Hume who spoke at length following a presentation and update on the city's market study report. Specifically, Hume was discussing ways the city can uniformly convey its economic development message, particularly to young people.

"There is a problem with the message that the EDC or others are putting out about the city," he said. "Think about how we can do that at the next level; Twitter, Instagram, these kind of things, that different eyes, younger eyes, creative eyes are seeing."

We certainly agree with Council Member Hume about reaching out to the younger and more specifically, creative demographic as a way of fueling local economic growth. But, the city ought to make sure the use of certain aspects of social media, such as Twitter ubiquitous hash tags, are used properly.

Just ask New York City cops. 

In their sincere effort to reach out to a younger demographic, on Tuesday Twitter users were invited to post to #myNYPD. Instead of getting complementary replies and photos, many people took advantage of the situation to post New York's finest in many unflattering ways.

As reported on American Public Radio's Marketplace program, the NYPD is not the first large organization to have a hashtag campaign backfire. When McDonald's started the hashtag #McDstories, instead of flattering stories, tweet about finding fingernails in fries were the norm.

Elk Grove has also experienced this sort of Internet hooliganism with their #inElkGrove hashtag. While Mayor Gary Davis has used this hashtag extensively to help promote his new coffee shop, many seemingly younger Twitter users posted tweets with the hashtag #inElkGrove saying "#InElkGrove you can't f*ck with nobody without the whole city finding out!", "#InElkGrove us people have nothing else better to do. So we all go on our iPhones and go on twitter and tweet stuff like #InElkGrove" and several more.

So while social media can be a powerful tool, please, use some caution #inElkGrove!

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1 comment

Ben X. said...

Disagree with the article.

What makes social media such a great tool is the ability to bring transparency to issues once brushed under the rug.

If you are the NYCPD, you start a campaign, and get negative responses... do something about it. Obviously there is negative sentiment about the PD. Use the opportunity to LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE YOU ARE TRYING TO SERVE.

Similarly, if Elk Grove citizens use #inElkGrove to vent about their frustations - listen to them. Find solutions to either educate them so they understand or find solutions to make change so that they are included. Because, if you don't, someone else will come along and do it in your place.

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