Imagine walking into your local municipal office or city hall and spotting a social media newsroom on a screen. A social media newsroom is, essentially, any digital signage display that automatically populates with social media posts relevant to your municipality. It gives you information about what’s happening in your area. And it’s right there in front of you, for you to read as you wait for your appointment.
That’s exactly what Ingolstadt, a city in Bavaria in Germany, has done. They set up a social wall using various sources that produce Ingolstadt-relevant content. This social media newsroom is displayed in the waiting area of the municipal office and also embedded on the Ingolstadt website.
We talked to Bernd Betz, Social Media Editor at Ingolstadt Tourismus und Kongress GmbH (the municipal department of tourism in Ingolstadt), to find out how Ingolstadt’s social media newsroom came about.
Social Media Editor, Ingolstadt Tourismus und Kongress GmbH
Social media has become a crucial part of any communication strategy these days. Municipalities, especially, are involved in many issues that directly affect the lives of citizens. And that means that there’s usually a need to open these topics up for discussion. The administration has to present the relevant facts or even initiate conversations about new issues.
The idea behind our social media newsroom was to present posts from various social media platforms in a clear and compact way on just one page. We wanted our users to be able to see the whole spectrum of content in a visually appealing way.
Ingolstadt’s social media newsroom allows visitors to find out about all our social media activities at a glance and on a daily basis. Additionally, they don’t have to log in on each social media platform or even have an account there, which poses a huge advantage for everyone.
We’ve permanently added the link to our newsroom to the menu on the main landing page of our website. We also regularly mention it in our press releases, promoting it as an ideal source for information regarding our municipality.
A version of our wall running the Kiosk theme is also permanently displayed on large screens in the waiting area of the municipal office.
The response has been positive throughout. But, to be honest, there aren’t really any arguments that speak against having such a newsroom set up.
We wanted to create news walls for specific interests to provide something for target groups that predominantly have an interest in certain topics, such as the fire brigade, for example.
And while it’s not really a thing we can do now because of the pandemic, we look forward to creating temporary walls specifically for bigger events in the future.
The importance of social media has continually gotten more and more significant over the past few years. And, of course, this development has been boosted even more during the coronavirus pandemic.
A social media newsroom is a fantastic way to keep your citizens up-to-date on anything and everything going on in your city, town, or village. Setting up a social wall for it saves time and effort because you’re using content that’s already being posted on social media. You just have to choose your sources and let the social wall collect all that content for you in one place.
Another advantage of a social wall is that it’s accessible to anyone, whether active on social media or not. You don’t need an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., and you don’t need to log in to any software to view a social wall.
Give your citizens easy access to your social media newsroom by prominently embedding it on your website. You can also display your wall on screens, for example, at city hall or other municipal offices. This brings the social media newsroom into the “real” world and also offers entertainment as people wait for their appointments.
Ingolstadt hasn’t just added official accounts, such as the mayor’s Facebook page, to the social wall but also many other sources relevant to life in Ingolstadt. For example, the social media newsroom boasts content posted by the city theatre, a business incubator, the city’s public library, museums, hospitals, the tourist office, and many other cultural institutions, service providers, businesses and organisational bodies that are connected to Ingolstadt.
Of course, a social media newsroom is primarily a service for citizens. But by adding such varied sources to the social media newsroom, Ingolstadt also gives local businesses a platform, which helps further economic success. And that, in turn, is good for the whole region.
Good news: setting up a social newsroom is super easy. All you need to do is sign up for a Walls.io account and create your first social wall. Then, from your Walls.io dashboard, navigate to Settings and then Sources to start adding your sources.
You can use your own social media accounts as well as other Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, Twitter accounts etc. and use keywords or hashtags to filter that content further.
Go to the Design section to tweak the look of your wall, choosing from one of our pre-made themes and adjusting colours, behaviour etc. Once you’ve got all that set up, all you have to do is grab your embed code from the Embed & Display section and copy it to wherever you want to have it, e.g. your website.
Display your social newsroom on a screen by simply pulling up your wall’s URL or use one of the digital signage providers we partner with.
Why don’t you try building your own social media newsroom right away using our free social wall trial (no credit card necessary)!