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State of Michigan Celebrates Michigan Social Media Day on June 30

This year on Michigan Social Media Day and every day, the state of Michigan is encouraging Michiganders and all social media users to utilize this ever-emerging medium as a positive tool for good.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed Wednesday, June 30, 2021, Michigan Social Media Day, to recognize social media's impact on Michiganders and the role it plays in society, government, business, and education. This year marks the twelfth global celebration of Social Media Day and the ninth statewide celebration in the great lakes state.

How is Michigan government using social media?

As the third state in the U.S. to recognize Social Media Day in 2012, Michigan government has long embraced the use of social media to extend traditional channels of constituent engagement. The state of Michigan's global social media program now reaches over 7 million users daily across 11 approved platforms. Connecting citizens with information, programs and services the state's footprint includes over 600 official accounts.

Just this past year, followers on the main Michigan social media accounts increased by 49% as more residents turned to social media for official public health information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan is now ranked in the top three for amount of followers on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram among all state governments.

Since 2011, Michigan has actively engaged with residents on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Over the years, outreach has expanded to include the use of platforms like Instagram, Medium, Pinterest, SoundCloud and Snapchat. With a goal of making government more transparent and accessible, teams across state agencies are focused more so than ever on creating a more participatory government.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital role social media plays in government communications," explained Andrew Belanger, statewide social media director and digital content administrator with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. "Throughout the pandemic, social media has allowed individuals to stay connected with each other while giving them the ability to receive real-time critical public health updates, including information on COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and the state's epidemic orders."

Social media has empowered individuals, businesses, and government to connect and be a voice for change. Getting involved, speaking up and empowering social media ambassadors were all key elements to the state's multi-platform #MaskUpMichigan and #MiDoseOfHope campaigns. Highlighting the importance of mask wearing and vaccinations, Michiganders from across the state stepped up and helped amplify state health department messaging as they shared posts and their personal stories to aid in the fight against COVID-19. These combined efforts all helped accelerate the state's COVID-19 reopening plan by lifting many COVID-19 restrictions ahead of schedule.

Over the past decade social media has allowed citizens to participate in two-way communication with their government. This past year was no exception with teams taking it to a new level allowing users to participate in virtual events, engage in virtual open meetings, tune into audio podcasts, and reach out with questions or complaints. For many teams, social media became a primary channel for important updates and announcements. This transition led several teams to hire social media strategists and expand their agency footprints, doubling down on resources to support their outreach efforts.

Recognized as a top state for technology, Michigan has been applauded for its innovative use of social media.

  • Michigan was recognized in the 2020 Government Social Media Organization Golden Post Awards, an annual awards program recognizing outstanding use of social media by local and state government agencies in the U.S. Michigan finished as a finalist in the 'Best LinkedIn Presence' for overall state presence on the platform and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources placed as a finalist in the 'Best Podcast' category for their Wildtalk Podcast.
  • The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, part of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity became the first economic development agency in the U.S. to use LinkedIn Live, a live video streaming function on the platform.
  • The Michigan 2020 Census "Be Counted" digital campaign was recognized on the national stage with an 'Award of Excellence' in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)'s 2021 Silver Anvil Awards. The state's use of social media across teams resulted in Michigan placing in the top 8 among state response rates and helped achieved the highest response rate for Michigan since at least 1980. Overall efforts resulted in over 675 million impressions resulting in millions of clicks to the website and 475 million earned impressions.
  • State agencies received 11 Central Michigan PRSA PACE Awards for communications campaigns and tactics in 2021, nearly all of which leveraged social media as part of a larger outreach strategy.

"We are always looking for opportunities to innovate and reach citizens in new ways," Belanger noted. "Unique to state government, our centralized governance strategy allows us to scale campaigns, align user experiences and easily collaborate across departments and agencies."

An example of this is the state of Michigan's recently launched unified social media branding initiative. In parallel to the state's monumental website replacement project, the state has moved to align social media branding across the state's over 600 accounts. The project aligns branding and user experiences with state of Michigan websites and applications resulting in visual consistency across digital properties and expanded trust between Michiganders and their government.

"Long term, it's about strengthening brand recognition and trust. Through partnerships and empowering brand advocates Michigan government will continue to use social to connect, empower and inform," Belanger stated. "We encourage all Michiganders to get involved, follow your state agencies and elected officials and be a positive voice for change."

How do I get involved and celebrate Social Media Day in Michigan?

For more information on the state's use of social media, to search an online directory of accounts, and to support Michigan Social Media Day, visit www.Michigan.gov/SocialMedia.