Twitter for Law Enforcement: How @Boston_Police is using GroupTweet & Twitter


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Law enforcement agencies everywhere are turning to Twitter and social media as a new tool in their fight against crime.  Police use Twitter and other social media platforms as both a Public Relations and Communication tool, and as a way to gather evidence and fight crime.

Many law enforcement agencies are discovering that GroupTweet can allow them to more effectively manage their Twitter accounts. How?  By allowing multiple officers and employees to Tweet from the organizations Twitter account.  GroupTweet makes this easy, as officers can send GroupTweets directly from their own phones, and there is no need for each person to login and out of a cumbersome social media dashboards.

How @Boston_Police uses GroupTweet:

@Boston_Police uses their Twitter account in a number of innovative and creative ways. Here they are soliciting tips and info from followers:

As you can see, the Tweet ends with “via @CherylFiandaca” which tells us who sent this GroupTweet.  How did this work? She simply included the #tweetfromthebeat hashtag in a Tweet from their personal account.  Boston Police configured their GroupTweet settings, so anytime an approved contributor includes this hashtag, the message also gets Tweeted from @Boston_police.  Here is the Tweet from her personal account, which triggers the GroupTweet:

Thanks to GroupTweet this message was also instantly Tweeted from the @Boston_Police account increasing the message’s distribution in a seamless and efficient manner.

Organizations can customize whichever hashtag triggers they prefer.  Additionally, GroupTweet settings can be configured so contributors simply include @Boston_Police in their Tweets or send @Boston_Police a direct message in the event you don’t want the Tweet to show up on your personal account as well.

Ease the Information Bottleneck – Allow Multiple Contributors

@Boston_Police is also using GroupTweet to send out broadcasts notifying the public about important issues:

Here we see Deputy Superintendent John Daley sent this message.  GroupTweet flattens the communications bottleneck and allows for important messages to be delivered in a timely manner.  There is no need for the Deputy Superintendent to send an email to the social media manager in order to relay this message.  He simply sends the Tweet out from his personal account and includes #tweetfromthebeat.

Think about the efficiency. Now, multiple officers and high ranking officials can help actually send out the updates.  No need to relay the message to the social media manager sitting in an office somewhere.  Allow your trusted contributors to send their Tweets directly from the field and out to your followers.

No new Software to Learn!

With GroupTweet there is no new software to learn or overwhelming social media dashboards to manage. GroupTweet allows your contributors to use any Twitter app they are already comfortable with. This means some contributors can simply use Twitter.com while others use Twitter for iPhone, iPad, Android, Tweetdeck, whatever! If you know how to send a Tweet with a hashtag then you already know how to use GroupTweet!

GroupTweet For Crisis Communications

In times of crisis getting the word out from the official police Twitter account is critical for public safety and awareness. If you only have one or two people responsible for your agency’s Twitter account, then this could cause unnecessary delays and an information bottleneck. Imagine a crisis scenario where your social media manager is out of the office and unreachable for whatever reason. By using GroupTweet with your account and approving multiple trusted contributors to have Tweeting access from your agency’s account, you can be proactive and ensure that this situation does not hinder your ability to deliver timely messages to the public during times of crisis or need.

GroupTweet Provides Secure Twitter Access and Full Audit Trail

So now you know the benefits of allowing multiple contributors to help you Tweet from your agency’s Twitter account. You might be wondering how you do so securely. There are likely some agencies out there that simply share the password among multiple officers or employees. This is dangerous and not recommended for a variety of reasons:

  1. Government Agency Twitter Accounts are susceptible to “phishing” attacks from hackers.

How do Other Police use Twitter and GroupTweet?

@OmahaPolice is another happy GroupTweet user.  They have a dynamic account with a number of different contributors helping to send out Tweets from the @OmahaPolice account.  GroupTweets are triggered anytime a contributor includes #OPD in a Tweet from their personal account.

Source Live Tweets from the Beat with GroupTweet

A lot of police departments don’t have a full time employee devoted to managing the agency’s Twitter account. Its a challenge for one person to continually publish engaging information.  GroupTweet allows organizations to spread the responsibility of content creation across multiple contributors, making things much more feasible and engaging.

Sending a Tweet is as easy as sending a text message from your phone. No need to login and out of multiple accounts, or download and learn some new social media software or app.  Just send a text message or Tweet like you normally would right from your own Twitter account and include a special hashtag.

Here’s a Tweet from Omaha Police Riverfront Patrol officer Keenan.

Their account has a great variety of content.  The above is a great example of a  live Tweet straight from a crime scene.  Omaha Police also use their Twitter account for recruiting and public relations.  Check out the GroupTweet sent by @JoinOPD:

GroupTweet can be customized for your law enforcement needs.

GroupTweet can be used in a number of different ways.  Don’t worry, all your officers don’t need their own personal Twitter accounts, they can simply login to your GroupTweet dashboard and send a Tweet from there.

Don’t want to identify each officer that sends a Tweet? No problem.

Want to be able to send a Tweet from an officer’s personal account but have it only appear on the Organization’s Twitter account? No problem, just send a Direct Message instead of a hashtagged Tweet!

Want to have a higher up moderate and approve officers’ Tweets before they are sent from the Group account? GroupTweet allows that too!

How can your organization benefit from GroupTweet?

Hopefully this article gave you some ideas on how police use Twitter to get their message out and fight crime.  If you still have questions, don’t worry we can help you figure it out.  We are happy to answer questions, so just shoot us an email.

Ready to activate your organizations’ account with GroupTweet? Click here to get started!

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Hi, I'm , Co-Founder of GroupTweet.com. GroupTweet allows you to add multiple contributors to a single Twitter account - creating a seamless group Twitter experience. Want to learn more? Click here for some examples or reach out via Twitter, you can find me @craft_ryan