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  2. Using the Polco Platform

Integrating Social Media

Information about posting your Polco questions directly to your Facebook and Twitter Profiles.

Integrating Social Media

We’ve made it easier for you to reach respondents, including the busy, thoughtful moderates we often don’t hear from. Due to our official relationship with cities, we have earned rights from Facebook and Twitter to integrate with their platforms, so you can automatically post questions and surveys to your Facebook and Twitter profiles. 

You can also share questions via email and embed them on your website to convert your web traffic into informed input as well. Furthermore, you can recommend that respondents download and engage with you through the Polco mobile app. All of this means that you can reach out through multiple communication channels to meet respondents in the many places they are already online. 


Outreach and Social Media 

  • In addition to the organizational Facebook and Twitter outreach, forward the link to departments, allied organizations and others.
  • Many times local officials are on Facebook. Ask them if they will share your poll/survey links.
  • Know where your target audience is and how to reach them. 85% of adults are online, but you need to know where to find them. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are some of the most popular current platforms. Even people in their 70s and 80s are on Facebook (that’s where pictures of their grandkids are!).
  • You can post polls individually over the course of several days. Respondents can see all open questions; however, different questions might capture the attention of different audiences. You can maximize your reach by publicizing one at a time.


Social Media Posts

Most of your community stakeholders use social media, and so do you!

  • Send through both main and department accounts.
  • Email your partners and staff to ask them to share and retweet.
    • Be sure not to use words such as “like and share” on Facebook, or the algorithm will limit the reach of your post.
  • Adapt the length of your social media messages to each platform. 
    • Boost your Facebook posts for a small cost, ask Polco to take care of it
      or use this how-to guide.
    • Add a hashtag on Twitter: #[municipality name].
    • Nextdoor posts can be a bit longer (you could use the email template).
    • Facebook posts are short.
    • Twitter has a maximum of 280 characters.
    • Instagram and Snapchat are short and visual.
  • Include your Polco page’s short URL in all social media postspolco.us/[shorturl].
  • Be clear on the action—they need to go to Polco (and not respond in the Facebook comments). Feel free to comment under your social media post to encourage stakeholders to leave their feedback on Polco. Some stakeholders comment on social media anyway. In that case, you can reply with a comment to them, thanking them for their input and encouraging them to share it on Polco so their opinion can be considered in City plans.
  • Tailor the message. Be a little wary of a social media message template—if you reuse the same language, people will think they already interacted with your new post.
  • Be sure to include only one call to action and only one link within each social media post. If you need to add more information (such as background information, images or video) to your Polco question, be sure to add it to your post in Polco.
  • We recommend keeping links at the end of social media posts, to make clicking on them easier for mobile respondents. 

Examples of Posts

Hi neighbors! What do you think about [question topic]? Let us know on Polco! polco.us/[shorturl]

The City is stepping up its game, and we need your help! We’re using Polco to hear from more residents. Join in today: polco.us/[shorturl]

Now you can give us feedback on a platform that is civil and quick! Join us to discuss hot topics and see what your neighbors think. polco.us/[shorturl]

We asked you about [topic], and most of you said yes! Moving forward, which [topic] plan do you like best? Go to Polco to let us know! polco.us/[shorturl]

Examples of images

  • Photo of Your Skyline
  • Your Municipal Seal or Logo
  • Your City/Town/Village Hall
  • Map of Focus Area
  • Street-Level View in Your City

*Don’t use too much text on images. Some social media algorithms limit the reach of posts with images that have text on them. Images with little to no text also tend to perform better overall and usually don’t have issues like words being cut off at the edges.


Verified Responses 

Polco has a respondent-verification process that delivers a very important benefit beyond generating referenceable results online: With results from only verified residents, you can be confident that no one is “stuffing the ballot box” on a question.


Filtered Results

All of this equals a great communication strategy: Source input through any and all communication channels, with all results filtered through Polco, a single place where participation is automatically verified, organized, tabulated and put into dashboards, maps and reports. Pretty handy.


Additional Information

Refer to our articles on outreach channel partners, methods and draft messaging (including draft press releases) for additional resources.