If you’ve ever posted a photo of a Las Vegas sunset on Instagram or complained about parking in an angry tweet, then you know the City of Las Vegas’ social media game is strong (insert the flexed bicep emoji here).
The City boasts more than 24,000 Instagram followers, 40,000 Facebook likes and a massive 100,000 Twitter followers. The latter milestone was recently celebrated with a mural painted by City employee Steve Horlock and a parody video of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” featuring government employees dancing all over Downtown Las Vegas. In addition to viral videos, the City also has a Snapchat, live-streams events on Periscope and hosts their Daily Dose video series via Facebook Live.
It’s that savviness and community engagement that’s made the City of Las Vegas one of four finalists in Engaging Local Government Leaders’ nationwide Trending Now! award. The inaugural award celebrates the government agency with the best social media presence. Naturally, the winner will be determined by online voting.
You can vote for the City of Las Vegas here through 11:59 p.m. on July 8.
The award itself is a sign of social media’s dominance in nearly all aspects of life. In recent years, it’s become a crucial tool for government agencies.
The City of Las Vegas has been an early adopter of social media platforms and trends since 2009, but it wasn’t until 2013 that it hired its first full-time social media manager, Jennifer Davies.
“Social media gives us more tools to break down the walls of bureaucracy,” Davies says. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter help fill in the gaps for those who can’t attend public meetings but still want their voices heard. “It gives everyone the ability to participate.”
Davies says the City receives a fair share of grievances, but that also can be an advantage. “As soon as you respond, it changes the tone and the direction of the conversation … It changes their perception of City Hall,” she says.
As newsrooms shrink, some of the not-so-sexy government news items are often neglected. The City of Las Vegas has seized that space. Their social channels are filled with everything from holiday traffic alerts and parking updates to community profiles and employee spotlights. “It’s an opportunity to take control of our own narrative,” Davies says.
Yet, for all its efforts, as of this writing the City is trailing behind the small, 50,000 population Lenexa, KS in the online voting for the Trending Now! Award.
“We really have no excuse to lose to them,” Davies jokes.
Do the City a solid and vote now here. Maybe you’ll get a retweet.