Between May and June 2014 we hosted #Talkdigital: a writing competition which gave us the opportunity to listen to our followers, fans and website-users. We wanted to hear from people who connect online with the Institutions. What do they think of how the EU communicates digitally? What changes would be most welcomed?
Run by the European Commission’s Social Media team, the initiative, which received 50 entries, provided us some really valuable insights that we will seek to include in all future communication activities.
We would like to share some of these insights with you…
LISTEN, RESPOND, ENGAGE
Engagement and reliability are golden on social media. Since the establishment of our social media presence we have been trying to be responsive to our followers and fans, to do our best to keep providing them with useful and practical information.
Social media engagement should not be a passive experience. Instead of waiting on your followers and your community reach out to you, proactive engagement can really make a difference in community management. This requires more resources than passive listening but the benefits far outweigh the costs.
The #TalkDigital winning entry suggests that EU institutions set-up a “permanent digital helpdesk service for the EU”; a sort of customer service-like approach to citizens’ questions, following the example of companies such as @DB_Bahn, @eurostar or @talktalkcare on Twitter. Even though the EU already provides a similar service via the Europe Direct Information Centers, we understand that the world of digital institutional communication is increasingly moving towards real-time digital reliability. The idea of moving such services towards a more digitalized dimension certainly fits the way communication is evolving.