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State government celebrates Michigan Social Media Day June 30
June 29, 2023
The State of Michigan (SOM) is celebrating the 11th annual Social Media Day in Michigan and the 14th Social Media Day worldwide today, June 30, 2023. First recognized by Mashable in June 2010, Social Media Day acknowledges the impact of social media, and the role it plays in our daily lives.
“Whether it's staying connected with friends and family, consuming news, connecting or promoting a business, reviewing or purchasing a product or service, or raising awareness about important causes, social media plays an integral role in the everyday lives of Michigan residents,” said Andrew Belanger, statewide social media director and digital content administer with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB). “Going back as early as 2008, Michigan government has embraced social media in an official capacity as a tool for good. As an extension of traditional constituent engagement channels, we use social to humanize our programs and services, while creating a more participatory and people-centric government.”
As the third U.S. state to officially recognize Social Media Day in 2012, Michigan has and continues to be a leader in its use. In 2023, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) was a finalist for best social media customer service in the Government Social Media’s Golden Post Award program. Recognizing the best of the best, the awards program honors outstanding use of social media by local, state, and federal government agencies from across the country.
“We were honored to be recognized for our work on the national stage,” said Lisa Gass, communications representative and social media strategist with MDOC. “Using social media as a service, we aim to improve communications between the department and the public. We regularly communicate with people during some of the toughest times in their lives. In all our communications, we strive to be responsive, show compassion and grace, and meet people on the platforms where they feel most comfortable.”
Lisa Gass, communications representative and social media strategist with MDOC, poses with the 2023 Golden Post Finalist certificate at the Government Social Media Conference in Reno-Tahoe, Nevada, May 3.
The Department of Natural Resources was also recognized nationally as a finalist for best Instagram presence in 2022, along with the Department of Transportation being named a finalist for best social media in customer service. This followed the State of Michigan earning finalist recognition for best LinkedIn presence, and the DNR being named a finalist for Best Podcast in 2020.
Several SOM agencies, including the Departments of Labor and Economic Opportunity; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; Treasury; Health & Human Services; Statewide Drinking Water Advisory Council, and DTMB were recognized for their efforts by the Central Michigan Public Relations Society of America at the 2023 PACE Awards. State agencies received numerous awards for social and digital strategies, highlighting the professional skill, creativity, and resourcefulness of SOM social media staff.
“Our communications representatives and social strategists are the heart and soul of our accounts and our social media program,” added Belanger. “Day in and day out, 365 days a year, our staff behind the scenes are strategizing, posting, reviewing, and responding to the good and bad comments. They are the ears and eyes on the front lines, and they are helping redefine and modernize government services.”
Under a centralized governance strategy, the state’s social media program includes more than 800 active government social media accounts, which reach over 8 million followers. These accounts seek to humanize and share real-time updates on government programs, services, initiatives, public health advisories, road conditions, weather alerts, public safety issues, and more. By focusing on two-way dialogue and building robust online communities, state agencies are engaging with followers, addressing their concerns, gathering feedback, fostering transparency, and cultivating trust. By empowering constituents to voice their opinions, contribute ideas, and shape policies, state agencies are helping increase civic participation, while creating a more inclusive and participatory government.
Echoing comments from Gov. Whitmer in 2020, the SOM is encouraging social media users to be socially responsible today and every day. The state encourages users to be a positive force for change. Use social media as a tool for good, to listen, and engage in meaningful conversation. Through embracing digital civility, respecting, and listening to each other, especially during difficult conversations, we can overcome and achieve anything.
Interested in learning more about the evolution of the state’s social media program? Check out this DTMB newsroom article from 2022, discussing how the state’s use of social media has evolved over the years.
Learn more about the SOM’s use of social media, search for accounts, review our community engagement guidelines, and more, by visiting, Michigan.gov/SocialMedia.