What happens in Vegas, gets around Vegas

City employees get schooled in social sharing and become some of Las Vegas' best brand ambassadors

Image via Marco Verch / Wikimedia Commons; used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Cropped from original.

Organizations: The city of Las Vegas and Sprout Social (Chicago)
Campaign: City of Las Vegas’ Bambu by Sprout Social Launch
Duration: April 2015 to present
Budget: $3,000-$5,000

The city of Las Vegas saw a massive boost to its social media visibility and engagement efforts thanks to the implementation of an employee social media sharing program via Sprout Social’s Bambu platform.

City of Las Vegas employees now use the Bambu platform to share information about local events and news to a large audience tuning in to social media channels. As a result, the city has been able to boost social media traffic, create new interaction touch-points, and improve public access to important information.

"Government employees are out there talking to your community anyway," says Jennifer Davies, public information officer for the city of Las Vegas. "Whether tweeting or in the grocery store, it’s the same thing. With Bambu we’re providing training and giving employees accurate information to share with followers."

The employee advocacy program helps promote tourism, expands the sharing of local news, and can help correct misinformation in the media.

Las Vegas is working on redeveloping its downtown sector. Giving employees the tools to talk about business openings and events is essential to development efforts. When Las Vegas rebranded its parks and recreation department, employee advocacy on social media was a key component of the marketing campaign.

The employee advocacy program also helped build a sense of community among employees by highlighting points of pride around government work and drawing in new talent. Using Bambu, employees said they felt more informed about local events and news.

In a big city like Las Vegas, sometimes miscommunication happens and employees are crucial to ensuring that accurate news and updates are shared with the city.

For example, at one of Las Vegas’ larger parks, trees were noticeably over-pruned due to a disconnect with park volunteers. The city was lambasted by the local press, so a blog post was developed to explain to the public how the over-pruned trees were salvageable. Employees shared the blog post and the city was able to minimize and clarify the problem and take back ownership of the story.

Las Vegas employees were asked to sign up for Bambu by Sprout Social, linking their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn social media accounts to the platform. Of the employees asked to take part, 76 percent became active participants in the program.

The implementation process came in several stages. First, a sound social media policy was in place. Then, participating employees were thoroughly trained to think about social media as a branded extension of the organization.

This training included 30-minute sessions on how to use Bambu for the broad employee base. The city of Las Vegas communications team also engaged in 60-minute training sessions centered on proper content-curation practices and driving a higher social media sharing rate.

A designated team would add internal content and news about local events and updates with on-brand messaging. Employees were then asked to share messages and start conversations with their networks.

Bambu was used to boost local promotions, such as the parks and recreation department’s marketing campaign, "Discover the Fun." To date, the most shared social media story by employees has been about the Fremont Performers ordinance created to address sometimes annoying street performers, which was presented to the city council in August.

There has been a 320 percent spike in the stories shared through social media since the implementation of the program, as well as a 275 percent increase in brand impressions.

Before launch, employees shared about 2.9 city-related stories per month. Now, employees share an average of 8.5 stories per month.

"Initially, we wanted to learn from a controlled group of employees," says Davies. "As we seek to go more broadly with this program, the lessons learned from the training sessions, and also the kind of content employees typically enjoy sharing, have proven to be important learning points for us."

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