Facebook: Norwich/Chenango County Emergency Management Success

We track Facebook likes for emergency management and public safety agencies as part of our attempt at understanding how to reach the public effectively.  While Facebook and Twitter won’t ever replace conventional emergency notification services, they are great additional channels to reach the public and can be more useful than emergency alerts for the depth they can bring.

This morning we ran across the Facebook page for the City of Norwich/Chenango County Emergency Management Operations Center.  They have 5,402 likes (plus one more from us)!  For a community with just over 51,000 people and about 20,000 households, that’s huge.

To put this in perspective, of the 200+ other EM, public safety and general community Facebook pages we’ve looked at, their “likes” average around 2% or less of their community’s population.  So this page is doing better than 5 times that level.

What’s their secret?  While we can’t answer that, here are three quick things we saw:

1st) They post frequently.  Going through the last month, there seemed to be at least 3-4 posts every day.  Many – if not all – were weather related, given the rough weather the Northeast has been seeing.

2nd) They engage with fans.  There’s a fair amount of comments from folks and the staff there is responding.

3rd) Many posts are graphical; a lot of which are weather maps.

Want your Facebook “likes” to go up?  This is a good model to look at.