Making the message: City considers social media management

CLINTON — City officials are exploring using a Dubuque-based "social media expertise" entity to help manage its online image and presence.

This week's Clinton City Council Committee of the Whole meeting featured a discussion regarding the services of Fourge Social. The company helps organizations over a variety of areas handle their social media outlets to "build and manage brands, strengthen relationships with customers, drive business results with social (media), and integrate social (media) across organizations," according to the company's website.

Councilman Cody Seeley headed the discussion, stating his belief that Fourge's services can potentially improve the city's public image.

"It seems like something that could be a benefit, not just to the city, but to everybody in the community," Seeley said at Tuesday's meeting.

Fourge's services already cater to the City of Dubuque, and Seeley said ongoing discussions continue regarding the company's use with entities such as the Clinton School District, the Clinton Regional Development Corp., and several private businesses.

Seeley mentioned platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as social media profiles that could benefit from Fourge's guidance. Those interested in participating, such as the city, schools and the CRDC, would help foot a yearly $9,600 fee to Fourge for their services, according to City Administrator Matt Brooke.

Should the city officially approve a contract with Fourge, the company would provide in-depth strategy and planning assistance, along with easy-to-obtain, solid statistical feedback – some of the many enticing pieces of the potential agreement, according to Brooke.

"What I like about Fourge is that it gives us that roadmap," Brooke said. "We can truly have measures of effectiveness after the first year to see how we've done. It's not just about the number of people that have clicked, or 'liked,' or whatever, it's about the message getting out... (Fourge) is virtually online over our shoulder, assisting us with that strategy to have those things ready to go."

The council unanimously forwarded its support to take part in a potential agreement to a future regular Clinton City Council business meeting.