ISM Episode 4: Kevin Hauswirth, recent Director of Social Media for the city of Chicago


Inside Social Media PodcastKevin Hauswirth, Director of Social Media for the city of Chicago, is my guest this week on The Inside Social Media Podcast.

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In the few weeks between when Kevin and I sat down to talk, Kevin actually left the mayor’s office and moved over to a political strategy firm in the private sector called Purple Strategies.

Having been appointed to his position of Director of Social Media by Mayor Emmanuel when he took office, such a move after two years can be common in the political world.

I’m excited to bring you a different “big brand” perspective with this discussion because thanks to Kevin and his team, Chicago is one of the most forward thinking cities in the US when it comes to social media.  (Living in LA, I wish they’d learn a thing or two from what Kevin and his team are doing)  🙂

He gives us a unique insight into how one of the biggest cities in the country uses social media to make itself more efficient and accessible to the residents of Chicago.

And as entrepreneurs and business owners there’s a lot we can learn from Chicago’s approach to social media that Kevin talks about today.

In addition to Kevin’s insight and tips, we also discuss unique case studies and real life examples of how Chicago is using social media. 

Here are the top tips and strategies that Kevin and I discuss, that you can take and put into action immediately for your own business:

  • If you’re not listening to your customers you’re missing the point of social media (notice a trend?  This has come up in every discussion so far).   
  • It’s about your customers and what they want.  It’s not about you.  It’s also about the relationship you want to foster with them.  What does that look like?  How do people interact with you and what do they want from you?  And then give that to them in the way they want it.
  • How can you use your customers’ feedback and turn it into a tip a day on Twitter or on Vine or a blog post?  Leverage the information you know your customers want/need and use appropriate social media channels to give it to them.
  • Don’t treat social media like a mega-phone.  Listen, engage, and connect.
  • When measuring social media efforts, look at what you’re tying to get in your business.  Then, see what social channels align with that goal as opposed to getting too bogged down with analytics and numbers.  It’s about the quality of social media engagement.
  • Show who you are with social media rather than telling what you do.  Consider how you already successfully market your business offline and look to replicate that through social media. 
  • Look at your business niche and come up with a way for how you can be helpful to that niche, even if it’s outside of your exact business.  It shows you care and positions you as an authority.  How can you as a small business leverage public data and build something that benefits your city/town as a civic duty?

Right-click here to download the MP3 of this episode

Links discussed during the interview

Follow the city of Chicago on Twitter: @ChicagosMayor

Chicago makes itself awesomely accessible with its digital hub: Chicago Digital Hub

Let Kevin know how much you enjoyed his insight by tweeting to him here!

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Click here for a PDF transcript of this episode 

Thanks very much!

Until next time, keep rockin’.