New York State of Mind: How Big Apple Organizations Simplify Social Media

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New York is a complicated place, home to some very complex organizations. That’s why New Yorkers are at the cutting edge of managing complexity on social media. For businesses with hundreds or thousands of employees and contributors, it can be difficult to keep your social media strategy in-check and on-brand. Solving this problem effectively takes a New York state of mind.

Companies that Tweet together, stay together. Or at least get things done together. For Big Apple institutions like The City of New York and The Rockefeller Foundation, this means using Hootsuite’s collaboration tools to streamline their social media flow.

Because New York is a center of arts, culture, finance, and countless global businesses, the city’s top organizations offer great examples of the complexities that can arise when trying to get your message out. Here’s how two of these leading organizations simplify social media.

The digital city

In their mission to connect all New Yorkers and become the world’s utmost digital city, The City of New York needed a way to centralize their message. Reaching over 5.4 million people a month through 340 social media channels, NYC Digital sought to expand their global reach, maintain a consistent voice, share information in multiple languages, provide reliable information during emergencies, and use social media to engage with citizens.

To keep their hundreds of social media channels united, NYC Digital turned to Hootsuite Enterprise for a unified social media strategy. The City brought together teams from various agencies and were able to assign individual levels of publishing access, responsibility, and authority to each member, all from one place.

Team members are able to collaborate, manage messages, and develop social media protocols–features that were crucial during emergencies such as Hurricane Sandy and the East Harlem apartment building collapse. Those with access to the NYC Digital accounts were able to see the messages their teams were sharing, and therefore keep their messaging aligned with what others were sharing. A key part of this was that, for those who had permissions to do so, the messages were translated into Spanish for different channels in order to ensure that all citizens could stay informed. Leveraging social media efforts from one broadcast mechanism allowed The City of New York to maintain a consistent voice even when that voice was coming through thousands of municipal departments and agencies.

Streamlining nonprofit workflows

Approaching their social media strategy with the similar challenge of how to manage hundreds of accounts across an organization, The Rockefeller Foundation used their network of people to make a change. A New York nonprofit institution since 1913, The Foundation is credited with pioneering the frontier of global philanthropy and working to support the wellbeing of humanity. These efforts include initiatives “to bolster resilience to the global climate crisis, assure access to affordable and high-quality health systems in developing countries, mobilize an agricultural revolution in sub-Saharan Africa, strengthen economic security for American workers, and inform more equitable, sustainable transportation policies in the United States.”

With such significant responsibilities on the line, Jay Geneske, Director of Digital at The Rockefeller Foundation, worked with a team to create a social media army by identifying influencers and key partners, as well as natural social media champions within the organization.

To amplify their mission, raise awareness of campaigns, as well as reach new audiences, the team heavily relied on Hootsuite’s social listening capabilities. They were able to pinpoint the strengths of each of their potential team members, and build a content strategy around this information.

Once this team was built, Hootsuite Workflow became a key tool in collaborating, securing, and streamlining communications efforts. Heavily relying on leadership content and employee input, The Rockefeller Foundation needed a way to manage the contributors and organize them in a way that made sense for their social media strategy. Consolidating their accounts to Hootsuite in time to launch their 100 Resilient Cities campaign in 2013, The Foundation had internal teams and social media champions in place to help amplify the initiative. In the first five months, the campaign hashtag had over 3,000 mentions, over 7,000 Twitter referrals, and a 10-20 percent increase in share of voice.

How they simplified social

Collaborating and working with social media across teams is a new challenge being faced by countless companies around the world. With these two Big Apple examples showing that with new levels of complexity comes a set of new creative solutions, getting your message out clearly and efficiently does not have to be a headache. Seeing the success these huge organizations found, what were some ways both of these New York institutions were able to simplify a complex social media situation through Workflow?

  • Maintaining their team structures by managing employees and workflows by project, department, and/or region

  • Setting permission levels by people or team and giving employees and contributors as much or as little access as necessary, assigning team leaders, and overseeing the entire team, as well as allowing or restricting access to certain networks or accounts

  • Creating tasks and assignments through appropriate team members, departments, or regions, allowing teams to focus on messages that matters most to them, saving time, and improving quality of responses

  • Keeping the brands consistent through designating team leaders to approve outgoing content so all posts align with goals and remain on-brand

  • Avoiding duplicate work and missed messages, with each response completed by a team member resulting in notifications so everyone is on the same page

  • Skipping email and unneeded meetings, as internal discussions are possible on the Hootsuite dashboard


To read more about the ways Hootsuite has helped top companies around the world, take a look at our customer page here.