City Hall needs to hone social media skills, report says

A new report made to city council Monday said city staff need more training on how to use social media like Twitter more effectively.
The city is looking to change the way it uses social media to speak with Edmontonians about their concerns. (Twitter/City of Edmonton)

A new report made to city council Monday said city staff need more training on how to use social media like Twitter more effectively.

More and more people using social media like Twitter to report issues to the city.

Mayor Don Iveson has been an avid tweeter since April 2009, and now has more than 33,000 followers.

He said he uses Twitter to keep in touch with Edmontonians.

“I know when the potholes are bad, I know when people are struggling with snow because people share that with me and – that's actually valuable for me,” he said.

“It's part of my dashboard in understanding, you know, what the mood of the city is, what our pressure points are on a given day.”

Iveson has taken to Twitter in the past to respond one-on-one to queries about potholes.

However, given the volume of messages he and other councillors receive every day, some messages may get lost or ignored.

“He has a lot of important things on his agenda. The small potholes are a concern and need to be deal with [but] tweeting at the mayor might not be the right way,” said Ward 1 Councillor Andrew Knack.

And while obviously a big fan of Twitter as a whole, Iveson agreed with Knack about its limitations.

“It's actually a really lousy tool for that sort of thing because you have no ability to tweet back to somebody that it has been dealt with, you don't have their contact information, and it’s limited to 140 characters.”

Now, he says the city is looking into new ways for Edmontonians to use social media to report on problems like potholes.

Later this month, the city will announce details about a new app that will let Edmontonians report potholes by submitting a photo through social media.     

Below are examples of some of Mayor Don Iveson's most re-tweeted messages to date

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