The City of Huntsville is connecting to the community in a 21st century way— with hashtags.
#HomeSweetHuntsville, #GreenerHuntsville and #ReadyHuntsville are three of the hashtags local social media users can expect to see from the city. The goal is to use social media platforms to reach citizens on a broader scale and encourage interaction within the community and beyond.
Deputy City Secretary and Assistant Public Information Officer Brenda Poe spoke about why she feels it is important for people to stay updated.
“It is important to follow the city, because we are providing free services and messaging that applies to the day-to-day life of every Huntsvillian — whether they are homeowners, students or individuals employed locally, but commuting,” Poe said.
Making an effort to garner a variety of followers, Huntsville can now be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Nextdoor, a social networking service created for neighborhoods. These different platforms allow the city to cater to all demographics within a community.
“From the city’s standpoint, we have to be out there on social media and be active,” Mayor Andy Brauninger said. “You reach a crowd that you wouldn’t reach before.”
To further extend its reach, the city uses a variety of hashtags to help spread different messages. According to Poe, the Huntsville City Secretary’s office started using #HomeSweetHuntsville in 2016 to garner local attention for events and activities to “feel good” news.
On Instagram, citizens using this hashtag can share their own images with the city and even have a chance to be featured on the page.
“#GreenerHuntsville is used for our recycling and solid waste messaging,” Poe said. “We use it to promote proper use of recycling, energy efficiency reminders, donation of goods to local charities instead of filling up landfills with clothing and furniture that still has use, and reminders about scheduled pickups. #ReadyHuntsville is engaged during emergency management situations, like hurricanes and tornadoes.”
Although gaining followers and getting likes have helped grow Huntsville’s social media pages, the city’s main goal is to provide as much useful information as possible to the people.
“Our goal isn’t to have the highest number of users. Our goal is to create clear and concise communications that inform, at some times entertain, and be the recognized source for timely, complete, and accurate city-related information,” Poe said.
The City of Huntsville is on Facebook @HuntsvilleTX, Instagram @cityofhuntsville, Twitter @HuntsvilleTexas. Find Huntsville on YouTube by searching huntsvilletxGOV or on Nextdoor by searching City of Huntsville.