The city of Lacey will take its social media presence to a higher level next week when it finally joins Facebook. The city’s Facebook page is set to go live on Tuesday.
That was the plan delivered by the city’s public affairs department to the Lacey City Council at the council’s work session Thursday. The news was embraced by councilman Jeff Gadman, who said he’s been pushing for it and for more community interaction since he joined the council in 2011.
The city also created a social media policy for employees.
Although the city and its police department began using Twitter two years ago, the city was slow to take on Facebook, said Liz Gotelli, the city’s public affairs department director. However, that gave the city time to learn from other cities’ Facebook pages and to adopt some best practices, she said.
Lacey will use its Facebook page to post news releases and public notices and to provide information about city departments. It also will have a clear policy about unacceptable comments and the profanity filter will be set to strong, said Sandra Boyce of the city’s public affairs department.
As with most Facebook pages, anyone will be able to share, “like,” and comment on city posts to the page.
Deputy Mayor Cynthia Pratt asked what safeguards were in place to prevent someone from taking over the Facebook page. Boyce said the page will be administered by the public affairs department, and initially she will be the only one permissioned to post to the page, although the number of people who can post is likely to expand.
As for city council members and Facebook, City Manager Scott Spence suggested they start slowly. For example, they could send in photos of events they attend, such as a fireworks show or a barbecue.
Spence also reminded them about the Open Public Meetings Act and possible violations, such as having conversations with each other about city policies on the page.
Talk of one Facebook page had Mayor Andy Ryder talking about more, such as official Facebook pages for each member of the council. Several council members already have personal Facebook pages.