The Twingly Blogstream and Blogwatch widget is used by many leading news and e-commerce sites, but that doesn’t mean that other kind of online projects don’t benefit from it. One example are websites of local municipalities, which Twingly enables to highlight and show the discussion about local matters, issues and projects on blogs to visitors and citizens.
The Swedish municipalities Strängnäs, Borås and Tranemo have chosen to put the Blogwatch widget on their site in order to do exactly that. We asked Strängnäs and Borås a couple of questions about their thoughts on connecting their municipality’s website with the blogosphere.
Sofia Lacik works with the communication team at Strängnäs municipality.
Hello Sofia. What’s the story behind the Twingly integration on Strängnäs municipality’s website?
I had used Twingly in the past at another organisation. Then at SSCW I met Twingly CEO Martin Källström and we discussed whether Twingly would be a useful solution for Strängnäs municipality.
How was the feedback when you launched the integration?
When we announced that we would show blog posts about Strängnäs, we only got positive reactions. For us it’s a great way to keep tabs on what’s being written about the municipality, and personally, I feel I’m better informed about topics, opinions and thoughts relevant for Strängnäs that are appearing on blogs.
How much time do you invest into working with social media?
It varies, but usually about 15 hours a week. That includes creating and following up on the strategy and various social media activities, answering questions, replying to comments, publishing news and monitoring the different channels. I also quite often meet with colleagues who need help or support regarding using social media. The communication department spends a couple of more hours a week mainly on monitoring as well as publishing and encouraging other colleagues to try using the social web for their work.
And what’s the next step?
Our goal is to increasingly leverage social media for our work at the municipality, and to make other offices and departments aware of the potential this has for the communication with those interested and those living in and around Strängnäs.
Marie Ingvarsson is the head of marketing and communication at Borås municipality.
Hello Marie. Tell us why Borås benefits from Twingly.
When we launched our social media activities we realized quickly the advantages of Twingly’s tools for our monitoring. Apart from showing the Twingly widget with links to blogs mentioning Borås, we also have used Twingly Live and Liveboard, for example during conferences, to show the latest developments and comments in real time. Of course it also helps that Twingly is a Sweden-based company and that the team has always been helpful and quick to reply to our questions.
Do your social media activities require a lot of time?
That depends. We publish quite a lot on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Bambuser, but then this content has been published through other channels as well, so it doesn’t need to be created from scratch. Our monitoring feeds are updating automatically which makes it easy for us to keep an eye on everything that’s being written about Borås. The setup of the whole work flow and of the accounts has taken a while, and naturally replying to questions and participating in the discussions might require some time – let’s not forget that social media is about communicating and interacting.
Will you integrate Twingly even more on your site?
We are thinking about embedding the Twingly Blogstream widget on all of our sites to show incoming links from blogs. Since the content on some of our less regularly updated pages probably isn’t being discussed a lot on blogs, it’s possible that there wouldn’t be a lot of incoming links, so we aren’t sure yet how to do it. In the end, it simply might be a question of being as transparent as possible, which is what we strive for.
What else is on your road-map?
One of the things we are planning to launch are e-petitions, a tool which enables citizens to make suggestions about issues concerning the municipality, to discuss them and to collaborate on them.
Awesome way of using social media to support democracy