David Oliver, Chief of Police at the Brimfield Police Department in Ohio, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss the insane popularity of his department’s Facebook page, his book at the foundation its proceeds benefit, and the importance of maintaining a consistent presence and voice in social media.
Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.
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“You just have to find your voice and bring that voice to the page.” -Chief Oliver (tweet this)
You regulars know the drill. We’ve got 5 copies of Chief Oliver’s book No Mopes Allowed. The first 5 people to add a review of the Social Pros Podcast on iTunes will get a copy. Just send us an email (with your mailing address) saying you’ve done it, and we’ll send you a copy!
Eschewing Best Practices for the Sake of Voice
In case you missed it, the Brimfield Police Department has over 135,000 likes on Facebook at last count. How many people actually live in the town of Brimfield, Ohio? Just 10,600.
Meet Chief Oliver, the man behind the madness. His genuine, often hilarious, and always heartfelt status updates have earned him a place alongside the other internet sensations. It’s not easy to gain 13 times as many Facebook fans as the population of your town, especially for a police department.
“It’s like a big family,” the Chief says of his beloved Facebook page. He refers to fans as “Crazy Cousins,” and the ne’er-do-wells are mopes. The jargon and careful mix of silliness and serious has caught on.
A brief survey of the Brimfield PD Facebook page shows a handful of tactics that social media pros would not consider “best practices.” Long copy, posts without photos, and posts that aren’t specifically branded or without calls to action. And yet they have a 70% People Talking About This (PTAT) rate.
“There’s often a tension between police and citizens these days that’s amplified in popular culture,” Jeff says.
The page, Chief Oliver says, helps them bridge that gap on a regular basis. By showing people a day in the life and giving us a behind-the-scenes look, maybe some of that tension can be eased.
Earlier this year, Chief Oliver came out with his first book, No Mopes Allowed. It includes the “greatest hits” from the Facebook page so far. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of the book go to the Chief Oliver Foundation, which is dedicated to helping victims of sexual assault heal and to aid community children’s programs.
Social Media Stat of the Week: $30 million
Chinese PR group BlueFocus Communications acquired 5-year-old social media agency We Are Social last week for $30 million. In a move that bought them about 82.7% of the business, BlueFocus is leading the way in the internationalization of social media services.
The next 12 to 18 months should see a large uptick in mergers and acquisition activity in the social media services industry. This is a particularly interesting case because it is a Chinese company buying a UK-based company. “It makes sense,” Zena says, “because in order for them to be relevant in these other spaces, their expertise might not be there yet, given the restrictions that the government puts on them.”
Obama typically gets around 2,300 retweets per tweet. Pope Francis gets around 11,100 retweets for his tweets in Spanish and 8,200 for his tweets in English. Jeff’s research with ExactTarget has shown that Latin American countries tend to have higher social engagement, so the higher number of Spanish retweets seem to make sense, especially considering the demographics of the Catholic Church. The Pope’s willingness to embrace dialogue with his people has translated well into the social sphere.
“This Pope has so humanized the role in an era where it had become kind of detached,” Jeff says. “He’s almost the perfect Pope for the medium.”
The Big Two – Chief Oliver
What’s your one tip for becoming a social pro?
Consistency. There is some reason people clicked “like,” and you need to keep giving that to them. “Even if you’re consistently bad, you’re consistent.”
If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who would it be?
See you next week!