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TSC considers Facebook page

Tweed Shire Council is considering launching a Facebook page next year.
Tweed Shire Council is considering launching a Facebook page next year. Darryn Smith

FACEBOOK is being considered by Tweed Shire Council as a means of communication with the shire's about almost 100,000 people.

Although the council does not yet have its own page councillor Kevin Skinner said the organisation had many State Government awards for communication.

"We're obviously doing better than a lot of other councils," Cr Skinner said.

He said a report handed to the council listed social media last from of a range of communication strategies to put in place when funding becomes available.

Cr Skinner said funding might become available for the council to start interacting with hundreds of millions Facebook users next year.

"I think it would be a positive move, though I don't know much about that sort of stuff," he councillor- who has never visited the website - said.

"I think the timing's probably right, and I don't know about overdue - I don't think we've missed the boat.

"I can tell you quite clearly as a motel operator I've been apprehensive about taking it on.

"I'm from the old school and, as far as information technology and web design, I'm five years behind, but into it now."

He said he was not sure about its format but welcomed the idea of an "open forum" with the public and local business.

"I know for business purposes it affords a certain amount of exposure and saves a bit on advertising.

"Not everyone is on Facebook: a lot of kids and adults are, but it hasn't reached saturation."

Cr Skinner said he imagined Crs Dot Holdom, Katie Milne, Joan van Lieshout and Mayor Barry Longland could already be social media users, while Crs Phil Youngblutt and Warren Polglase would probably be from the "old school".

"As far as modern technology is concerned: we all go forward, don't we," he said.

"But sometimes it's backwards.

"I would use it as a learning tool for myself to figure out its application for my motel - I'd embrace it."

Kingscliff-based "The Social Tradie" Adam Bean said it was vital the council used social networking as a means of two-way instead of just one-way communication.

"It needs to be an educational tool for the area, with posts about events and plans, and it could give local charity and community groups the ability to post their activities.

"It does need to be regularly updated, not just a set-and-forget thing, so they are keeping in touch with people."

Facebook had settings controlling unauthorised posts from outside the council which needed to be used, the "keynote event speaker, social media coach and beach bum" said.

He pointed to the success the NSW Police Tweed-Byron LAC had with its Facebook page as an example for the council.

Crs Milne, Lieshout and Longland did not respond to calls before deadline.

Tweed Shire Council currently does have a generic company page on Facebook but it is unclear who created it.

Topics:  facebook, kevin skinner, social media, tweed shire council



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