Several successful strategies have emerged as community leaders grapple with the intersection of rapid pace of change in social media use and community division. Some of the strategies suggested below concern how to use communications on social media to stay in touch with residents and keep them in touch with each other: pushing out accurate information, pulling information in, engaging residents in decision-making, transacting business with residents, and helping residents appreciate what they share across communities within the larger community. Other strategies relate to advocacy with the social media platforms themselves and even with employers within the community.
Leaders pioneering the use of these strategies counsel other leaders to develop, often with public input, new policies and staff training as they implement these approaches. As the Major City Police Chiefs explained in a February, 2017 policy statement, “It is far better practice to create a policy or protocol before a critical event occurs, to educate the community and stakeholders about that policy and protocol before a critical event occurs, and then to follow your policy and protocol when a critical event does occur.”
- Use Social Media, Websites, and Apps to Create Widely-Used and Trusted Online Information Sources for Residents That Will Help Maintain and Enhance Residents’ Confidence and Become an Antidote to Inaccurate News.
- Use Social Media, Websites, and Apps to Increase Input from Residents in Ongoing Decisions and to Respond to Residents’ Concerns.
- Use Social Media, Websites, and Apps to Promote Offline, Face-to-Face Events and to Support Dialogue Among Residents in Order to Build Community Resiliency.
- Work to Reduce and Combat Online Hate Speech/Discriminatory Conduct Through Social Media so as to Ameliorate the Effects.
- Mine Social Media and Other Online Data as Part of an Overall Ongoing Initiative to Better Understand Community Concerns.
 Albert Meijer & Marcel Thaens, Social Media Strategies: Understanding the Differences Between North American Police Departments, 30 Gov’t Info. Q. 343, 344 (2013).
 Major Cities Chiefs Association, Policy Statement: Release of Information and Video in the Wake of a Critical Incident (Feb. 9, 2017).