What is what in the world of social networks?
A social network is a service for maintaining social connections on the Internet. An important element of a social network is the content (content, information) created by users. People from all over the world publish their own photos and videos, thoughts and comments. Owning companies do not publish their articles or photos - then they would be just media, like a newspaper or magazine online. Instead, the owning companies write programs and algorithms that actually allow users from all over the world to post their information, discuss it, and spread it further. The rise of social networks has become a revolution in modern society - now every user is a media personality. We choose what to publish and what not to publish. That is why it is extremely important to understand the essence of social networks in order to release the right messages to the world and not to suffer from false information from others.
Currently, the most popular social networks are Facebook - the world's largest social network, YouTube - a service for publishing and discussing videos, Instagram - a service for publishing and discussing images, Twitter - a service for users to publish short public messages, LinkedIn - a service for posting your resume and communicating with employers, WeChat - a messaging service and a social network in China, where other social networks are prohibited. It is important to pay attention to the fact that each social network has its own direction of activity - video, photo, long or short text. Why is it important? Because the type of information for which the network is designed determines how to effectively convey to all viewers or readers the desired message, visual or text. But more on that later.

Which social network to choose?
As mentioned above, the type of information for which a particular network is designed determines how to effectively convey to all viewers or readers the desired message, visual or text. For example, Instagram is designed to publish and discuss images. What does this mean? It means that there is no point in publishing an indistinct photo and captioning it with four paragraphs of text with, for example, the results of a working group meeting. Instagram algorithms are sharpened for spectacular photos, where the image speaks for itself, and the caption is limited to a short text. For example, by posting a sunny photo of smiling parents with their child on a new playground, you are actually showing without a single written word that there is a new playground in the village, and that children and parents are happy about it, and that it is good to live in your community. The last statement seems to be a stretch: "How can one photo suggest that everything is fine in the community?", but it suggests an important function of Instagram - this service conveys emotions, not dry data. The viewer will not learn about the size or cost of the site (a link to this information can be given separately in the caption), but it will be left in his subconscious that your hromada is good and sunny. And such and other photos are gradually collected a lot, and on their basis, anyone can form a positive image of your community. Moreover, it is worth taking into account statistics to determine the target audience: for example, Instagram is most popular among young people aged 18 - 24 years (including women - 58.27%). Therefore, it is worth making efforts to maintain a successful Instagram page only when it is clearly decided that it is necessary to raise the attractiveness of the community among young people.

To reach the older audience, it is best to use Facebook. After the ban of Russian social networks in Ukraine, Facebook has developed even more, and as of the beginning of 2019, the number of Facebook users in Ukraine was 13 million, the most active of them are users aged 19 - 49 years. Women and men among Ukrainian users make up 59% and 41% respectively. Facebook is also versatile in what data you can share with your audience: you can write longer texts and messages, you can and should share images, there is even a built-in video library.
For the middle-aged audience, in addition to Facebook, Twitter is also suitable - a service for publishing short messages, maximum 280 characters per post. It became revolutionary in Ukraine during the Euromaidan, when it was very important to quickly and briefly report news from the scene. This service is "lightweight" because sharing a short text takes up little smartphone memory and does not require a fast internet connection. In Ukraine, the number of Twitter users in relation to the total number of users of all services is relatively small - about 9%. According to global statistics, Twitter is more used by representatives of the age group 13 - 49 years, and among older users - people with high income and higher education. This means that Twitter can become a platform for the community and starosta to communicate their achievements, their expert and strategic review.
Among video services, the advantage of YouTube is that it is not just a social network, but also a service for uploading and sharing videos. You can compete to get to the main page of YouTube and have your video seen by millions of users, but it is a difficult task even for an experienced social media manager. Nevertheless, there should be no obstacles for the goal. The main thing is to use the opportunities offered by this tool correctly.
It makes sense for hromadas and starostas to use different social networks simultaneously. For example, Facebook can be an official communication channel, while Instagram can be used more informally to tell about life in the community through photos. Do not directly duplicate messages from Facebook to Instagram and vice versa. Use each network for its intended purpose!
Useful technical details
To successfully maintain any public page, it is enough to know only some basics of social networks. Tips are provided on the example of Facebook as the most common network.
1. It is important to distinguish between the types of pages: personal page (profile), public page, group and event. Often users confuse these concepts, which leads to conflicts and sometimes scandals.
A public page is a page for covering the activities of a company, organization, institution, community or person. The main requirement is an official business style of speech and a neutral political or religious position.
Personal page or profile is a private page. Here you can publish "swimsuit photos", describe your political and religious views, you can write illiterately if you wish. But there is one thing: often users of social networks use this page as a public one. This is also acceptable, but it is incredibly important to make an unambiguous choice: either it is 100% public page (then it is subject to the requirements of a public page specified above), or exclusively private. You can't mix the two. Then there will be no scandals regarding the publication of important work information and swimsuit photos in the same place. Moreover, you can make your own profile visible only to your friends (in the Settings menu: Privacy, Biography and Tags).
Facebook groups are different from pages - they are small forums where every member of the group can post, not only the owner. Unlike a public page, it is a space where equal communication takes place in all directions: users with users, group founders and users, etc.
An event is a mixture of a public page and a group, a page that is created specifically for a certain event, indicating the date, time, place. This is a way for event organizers to communicate with those who want to attend, answer their questions in a forum that can be seen by everyone.
Creating and setting up public pages, groups and events can be found in the menu in the left column of the main Facebook page - the news feed.
2. For successful publications you should "tag" people. To do this, you need to put the symbol "@" in the text of the publication and start entering the person's name as it is indicated on Facebook. The system itself will suggest the continuation of the name, you can click on it. If done in this way, the published text will become visible not only to the subscribers of the page, but also to the friends of the person who is marked.
3. In recent years it has become very important to pay attention to the copyright of images, music and video. Modern technologies allow computer algorithms to check whether a track or photo is used legally without human intervention and prohibit the distribution of publications with "pirated" content. It is very unpleasant to receive a notification about the disabling of a publication that you have worked hard on, so you should use either your own, unique music and photos, or downloaded with distribution rights. You can download files with distribution rights for free on photo services Unsplash and Freepik and on music service Incompetech.
4. On the public page it is very important to provide thorough and concise information about yourself or the community in the "Information" section. It is important to indicate the current address, phone numbers, provide a link to the community website and publish a short but interesting description. Facebook is only a small part of the hromada's public communications, and it should serve as a "hook" - to catch the user's attention, interest and lead to further information about tourist attractions or investment opportunities in the hromada.
5. For photos and videos to look good on the pages, you should always remember the correct size of the images: the photo to be published on Facebook should be 500 pixels wide (the height then depends on the proportion). The cover (horizontal image on top of the public page) should be 1640 by 720 pixels. Videos on Facebook should be up to 4 Gigabytes, frame size 1280 by 720 pixels.
Transparency and trust
At a time when everyday life goes hand in hand with virtual life, the ability to consciously use services for communication comes to the fore. Social networks provide an opportunity to send important information from the life of the community in seconds, create a positive image of the community and associations with its activities: transparency, efficiency, welfare, etc.
For residents, investors and tourists, it is important not only what is written or photographed, but how it is done. Emotional and open coverage of community life creates a sense of involvement and trust. To achieve this, social media is an indispensable tool!