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Video: Is social media a fad, or are you falling behind?

Let the importance of your job propel your department’s social media plan; don’t get hung up on the complex bells and whistles

Is social media a fad, or is it the biggest shift since the industrial revolution?

Social media guru Ted Nguyen asked that question during his keynote speech at the SMILE Conference Monday. Watch the video below and answer it for yourself. Keep your specific police department in mind as some of these mind-blowing stats bounce across your screen.

The IACP recently conducted a survey of 782 law enforcement agencies from the 48 states and the District of Columbia. According to their findings, more than three-fourths of police agencies “say” they use social media.

Consensus at the SMILE (Social Media in Law Enforcement) Conference, however, is that very few of these departments are maximizing the potential of new media.

Sure, those departments may have active accounts, but how many of them are being used to their full potential? Here are some other stats revealed by the IACP:

- 66.6 percent of departments have a Facebook page.
- 35.2 percent have a set social media policy.
- 23.2 percent are currently drafting a policy.
- Of the agencies that don’t use social media, 61.1 percent are currently drafting one.

Fear of technology, according to Nguyen, is often what holds police departments back.

But he has some advice that might get cops inspired and help them move forward: 

“The work you are doing is meaningful,” he says. “You make the world a safer and better place. You do it because you believe in what you’re doing.”

He says police officers need to let that – not the technical sludge that has most PDs behind the curve – guide you in your development of a plan.

Let the importance of your job propel you forward; don’t get hung up on the complex bells and whistles.

Ted Nguyen says he will answer every single tweet he ever receives. So, if you have a question about social media, I recommend you check out his website and shoot him a tweet at @TedNguyen.

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