Jane Binnion column

Jane Binnion from Lancaster, social media trainer.
Jane Binnion from Lancaster, social media trainer.

If you’ve been on Facebook lately you might have been surprised to see David Cameron popping up in your newsfeed.

His marketing team have cottoned on to the fact that Facebook is a very inexpensive way to get in front of a large audience.

For a small amount of money you can get your information put in front of thousands of people.

So much cheaper, more efficient and more effective than flyers, which so often go straight into the recycling bin anyway.

The Labour party also used Facebook in July for a very popular NHS 66th birthday campaign. I’m really hoping that this means we will now see Facebook used more by the public sector.

Public sector communications really do need to move with the times and get savvier about using the new tools available when it comes to communicating with us.

Last Saturday I was rather alarmed to see that the council had blocked the exit from my side of Galgate to the A6.

That meant that those of us heading to the motorway had a four mile detour.

Apparently there was a notice on a piece of paper on a lamp post outside Spar.

A £5 promoted post on Facebook, targeted at Galgate, would have got that information in front of more than 1000 Galgate residents, who would then have shared it and let each other know.

Or even cheaper still, they could have just shared something on one of Galgate’s community pages.

In the marketing world it’s said that we have to see something five times before it becomes familiar.

The poster campaign all round the RLI about washing our hands has been a great example of this.

Now what if campaigns like that went into people’s homes, on the media that they are familiar with.

We know that many people are checking their social media sites whilst watching TV.

It’s a captive audience that will then pass that information on.

I understand that there’s some reluctance on the part of the public sector to use these new tools, or to spend money on social media, but hopefully this recent use by our politicians will make it more acceptable.

After all there’s clear evidence that it can actually save a lot of money.