Stirling Council considering increase to social media spend

A new policy that provides guidance to Melville councillors using social media has been adopted.
A new policy that provides guidance to Melville councillors using social media has been adopted.

STIRLING Council will consider increasing its spending on social media.

It will vote whether to budget an extra $75,000 on social media staffing at the mid-year review, following a notice of motion by Councillor Suzanne Migdale.

A City report presented at the September 4 meeting said it spent $124,000 in 2017-18 on advertising via Facebook, up from $5000 when it moved to the social media platform in 2015.

Its newspaper advertising expenditure had halved to about $317,000 since 2014-15, while other marketing spend and overall expenditure had also decreased.

In 2017-18, Facebook advertising made up about 8 per cent of its total advertising and marketing spending, which was nearly $1.6 million.

According to the report, the City buys 300 Facebook ads per year at a cost of $413 each.

Cr Migdale was concerned that ratepayers’ queries to the City via social media were receiving delayed responses, though it said 70 per cent were responded to within a day.

She wanted someone employed specifically to deal with social media responses at a cost of $75,000 but the report noted this would “not necessarily significantly increase the speed of responding” because often staff needed to seek information from relevant departments.

“Since the implementation of the social media strategy, funding has decreased by $500,000 for marketing and only increased by $100,000 for social media,” she said.

“It’s increasingly becoming the way we communicate with residents.”

But Cr David Lagan believed spending should be less if the City was increasingly using social media while Cr Keith Sargent was concerned with the “rush” to address this now.