Social media needs to be a priority for all Crime Stoppers programs. In order to achieve an effective social media presence it is imperative to have a purpose and process in place that will allow Crime Stoppers programs to achieve payoff and potential for their goals of preventing and solving crime together. Special thank you to Meaghan Gray, Toronto Police Service Corporate Communications Issues Manager for making Social Media For Communications Crime Stoppers training possible.
Two presentations were offered to delegates at the 2015 Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers Annual Training Conference in London, Ontario led by Jeanean Thomas, Chair of Waterloo Region Crime Stoppers and Constable Scott Mills, Toronto Police Service Social Media Officer.
Watch one of the presentations in its entirety here:
Below is a list of tips that were discussed and links to more information. The list is by no means exhaustive, and if anyone has more tips to add please add a comment to this blog, or email the author to add it to this list ScotMills@gmail.com.
1. Click on the links for some social media sites applicable to use for Crime Stoppers programs:
Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, WordPress and Pinterest
2. Establish a social media policy for your Crime Stoppers program that establishes who does what, when and what sites will be used. Establish protocol for passwords and establish flexibility to add and remove people who can post regularly
3. Establish a protocol with your local police service social media and media personnel to effectively integrate in a timely way social media posts that promote anonymous Crime Stoppers tips to help prevent and solve crime together.
4. Do not post on social media or talk to traditional media about a crime being solved by a Crime Stoppers tip in order to protect the anonymity of tipsters.
5. Schedule social media posts appealing for information in unsolved crimes for non peak traditional media hours (weekends) and coordinate with traditional media personalities to have social media posts shared on traditional media to reach a wider audience. (Note re: scheduling…ensure that something major doesn’t happen at time your scheduled post is to go out so that your post is in context with the state of now). Click here to learn how to schedule on Facebook pages. Click here for scheduling for facebook and twitter using Buffer. Click here for Hootsuite. Click here for Tweetdeck.
6. Use graphic creation sites like CANVA to create simple and effective ‘call to action’ social media posts. Great article with several graphic creation resources click here
8. Create lists on twitter of the people and agencies supportive of your local Crime Stoppers programs from community, media and police. Subscribe to other official lists to follow what is happening in your community. Example lists: Toronto Police Social Media Emergency Management and Toronto Media hosted by the Toronto Police Service Operations Centre twitter account.
9. Create messaging that always generates traffic to your website and your core message of preventing and solving crime together and anonymous tips. Link to articles and more info where possible, and try not to always talk about yourself!
10. Be cordial, polite and offer relevant positive information on emerging issues and events for individuals and organizations politely tweeting into relevant hash tags.
Review Storify of the #OACS2015 hash tag on all social media platforms here: