Engagement Improved With 3 Tips

Engagement: Are You Leaving It On The Table?

If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know that I am not a fan of cross populating content from one platform to another. It can be a major engagement killer and it’s just not an authentic way to reach your audience.

I believe that posts should be made natively within the platform you are on. Recently I saw an example that points out exactly why I feel this way. Besides the fact I don’t like leaving one platform to go to another, I believe that you are hurting your own potential engagement when you ignore native posting.

By the way, I should explain a couple of terms before I go any further. Native posting means posting directly to a specific platform. Cross populating means posting on one platform and then using that platforms share functions to other platforms.

Randy Arsenault from the Toronto Police Service is one of my favorite officers because he knows how to build community on social and in real life. Check him out here: PCArsenault on Twitter

Recently Randy posted a picture on Instagram and used its auto-share function to also put the same picture on Twitter. It was a great picture. Naturally, to see the picture I had to click the Instagram link in the Tweet. What caught my eye was the massive difference in engagement between the two platforms.

Cross Population Post To Twitter From Instagram:

Instagram Native Post:PC Arsenault Instagram 2 engagement

What an incredible difference in engagement. 177 likes on Instagram, 16 on Twitter.

I talked to Randy and asked if he would help me out with a study I’m doing (this post) and post the picture again, but this time to Twitter natively.

He did and the results speak for themselves. PC Arsenault Twitter 3Even though it was virtually a duplicate post a second time directly in line to the previous post from Instagram, people could actually see the picture which no doubt led to the higher level of engagement. 7 ReTweets and 28 likes at the time of capturing this pic.

I know you might be saying, “Tim, that’s just a fluke and it’s only one picture.” I agree. So, Randy and I teamed up a few days later and replicated the same test.

Twitter From Instagram:PC Arsenault FridayTwitter Natively Posted:PC Arsenault Friday 3The two screen shots were taken about four hours after the posts were made. You can see by the time stamps on the pictures they were shared minutes apart but the engagement is dramatically different!

The only real argument for doing cross-platform posts is, “it saves time”. But, as you can see, the time you save, which is truthfully maybe one minute, is not worth the time-saving when you factor in the loss of potential engagement you are leaving on the table. If you’re using time as an excuse a reason in an emergency, are you willing to lose that much audience potential?

3 Tips For Better Engagement

1.) Post Natively…take the time to be authentic and actually post from the platform you are using.

2.) Be Personable…Randy is a shining example of how you can be an officer and relatable with humor and a message all in one post.

3.) Use Multiple Platforms…not all your audience is in one place. You increase the odds of reaching more people by using multiple platforms. If you’re looking for a place to be, go with the odds, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

What are your thoughts? How do you feel about cross populating platforms. Let me know and hit me back with your comments. I read them all and always respond.

Other Problems With Platform Cross Population:

Instagram loves hashtags. When you use multiple hashtags in your Instagram post and cross populate to Twitter and Facebook, it makes your post look ugly.

If you tag someone on one platform using their ID on that platform, it won’t translate well to the other platforms.

Preference/Platform Bias:
Cross populating on some platforms creates a ‘penalty’ situation where your content isn’t favorably viewed by the algorithms of the receiving platform…ever wonder why some LinkedIn posts have prominent pictures and other posts have little pictures? That’s the reason.

Your primary target audience may be active on one platform at a specific time of day but they are absent on another platform at the same time. (H/T to “LS” for mentioning this one in an email to me.)

Thank you Randy for your assistance in this experiment to help other users learn.
Go follow him!! @PCArsenault

What are your thoughts? Agree/Disagree? Let me know in the comments and hey, if you have found value in this post other people in your audience probably will as well so take the second it takes and share this with them…it’s easy, just click on the sharing buttons below.

Have an awesome day everyone!

This post was modified from the original content I created around it shared originally with the people who subscribe to my newsletter. You can subscribe here to get information like this and more first! 
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Use The Tools You Have…Period

One week ago today another mass shooting took place in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The shooting spree started at around 5:40 pm on Saturday, February 20 and ended with the arrest of the suspect, Jason Dalton on Sunday, February 21 at approximately 12:40 am.

We learned about the shooting in one of three ways:

  1. Main Stream Media
  2. Social Media
  3. Friends

That’s nothing new…it’s pretty much how we learn about everything today. What changes is not where we learn about the information, it’s who we learn that information from on through those communication channels. I learned about the shooting through social media and stayed on the Internet to look for details, timelines and the story within the story.

I went looking for the facts and I turned to the trusted sources for those facts. By trusted and informational sources I mean:

  1. Local police social media accounts. (Trusted)
  2. Local and regional government social media accounts. (Trusted)
  3. Local and regional media social media accounts. (Informational)
  4. Social search…anyone who is in the area talking about it. (Informational)

In the case of the trusted sources there was nothing on social.

In the case of the informational sources I learned the suspects identity, his occupation, the vehicle he was driving and more. There is no doubt that much of that information came from the trusted sources via press notifications and conferences which was shared into the social streams, but I didn’t get any of that information from the trusted sources and that is a shame.

This morning I read an opinion article which is what led me tor write this post toady. You can click here for the article.

Kalamazoo mass shooting highlights need for emergency alert system

That was the title of the article that caught my eye, but this it the paragraph that got me mad:

The timeline illustrates that it’s not always adequate for law enforcement to have to rely on the news media and social media to spread the word when lives are immediately in danger.

The article’s point was to express an opinion that there needs to be an emergency alert system in place for direct broadcaster to end user notification system. The amber alert system and campus alert systems already in place were examples used.

Let’s give police the tools they need using technology we already have to protect public safety and save lives.

Here is the problem:

You can give every tool imaginable to facilitate virtually any job needing to be done, but if the tools don’t get used, they are useless. If you don’t train the people to use the tools they are less effective and if you don’t condition the public to turn to those tools in a time of need then they are mute.

In this case the tools are available already for mass notifications…they simple weren’t utilized or used.finger-769300_1920

Here is a short list of the tools that can be utilized for the purpose of geographical based notifications from trusted sources to mass end users:

In the case of Kalamazoo, Twitter and Facebook were available by the trusted sources…but they weren’t used.

Naturally, the fly in the ointment here is when a manhunt like this is taking place can you dedicate staff to push the accurate information out and monitor what is being said online. My simple answer is…yes you can and yes you have to in today’s day and age. You just have to decide that it’s a priority in your organization or choose that notifying your community in timely manner using the available tools is not that important to you.


Kalamazoo Public Safety Twitter


Kalamazoo City Hall


Kalamazoo Public Safety Facebook

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Email List Subscriptions

For the last week of 2015 I was cleaning, re-arranging, re-organizing, de-cluttering…you know, out with the old; in with the new.Email clean up and subscription

Yesterday was email day. Unsubscribing from email newsletters, opt-ins and offers that aren’t relevant to my needs or wants anymore. Deleting sent, drafts and inbox items that aren’t needed anymore and finally, cleaning up my own email lists.

I couldn’t believe that I had created roughly 1.5 email lists per month last year. Different trainings, product offers, webinars, newsletter, writing and speaking events led me to more lists and more relationships.

No doubt, as a result of all the lists I built, some people will receive emails from me starting tomorrow and think, “What does this email or newsletter have to do with me? I signed up for a webinar and now I’m on a mailing list?”

Personally I hate it when someone does that without permission so today I sent an email to all my list telling people exactly what I did and offered them not 1, not 2 but 3 opportunities to opt out. I don’t subscribe to the idea that just because you opt-in with an email address for one reason I now have permission to hit you with everything else I have. I make sure you know what’s happening.

I know some of you may be thinking about list segmentation, tags and filters right now and saying to yourself that Burrows is nuts adding all this extra work. The truth is, I actually like manually working on my list. It helps me understand my relationships with people and get to know them better. It’s not just an automated process for me…it’s getting to know people.

Tomorrow an email newsletter will go out to my new and refined list that is going to talk all about using email for relationship and community building. I truly believe that email is an incredibly underrated and overlooked tool for law enforcement.

As much as I have shared information here and on social media sites, I save my best stuff for my email newsletters. Want to know what I think? You have to be my mailing list for that.

I’d be honored if you took the time to sign up to receive emails from me on. I send out on a ‘not too frequent basis’ of about 1 or 2 times per week (closer to 1). You can click here or sign up using the button on the right side of this post.

My information is primarily about law enforcement, policing, legal issues, communication, leadership, social and digital media. Every once and a while I throw in other info just for fun.




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Police Videos of 2015

Welcome to the Top Police Videos of 2015 Blog Post.

The best that police and law enforcement have to offer in the world of video for 2015

My choice for the 15 Best Police and Law Enforcement Videos are below picked from a field of 87 videos that I’ve been bookmarking all year long.

This list isn’t about the most popular police videos, or the most liked, the most commented or the most shared. While there are some very popular videos in here, this list is more about inspiring police agencies to do great things with video. They are in no particular order other than to say the first video does have over 38 Million Views…you may remember it from way back in January.

The newest video was just published yesterday and my personal favorite video in this list has less than one thousand views.

It goes without saying that the IACP #WhyIWearTheBadge video series could completely own this list (There are a couple included here).

I hope you enjoy these.

Dover, Delaware

Rock County, Wisconsin

Cedar Hill, Texas

Hampton, Virginia

SanFrancisco, California

Dunwoody, Georgia

Redmond, Washington


Roseville, California

Santa Monica, California

FortWorth, Texas

Tampa, Florida

York Region, Ontario

Boca Raton, Florida

Arlington, Texas

Next year I’ll be writing a post specific to video strategy and why I believe some videos are better than others and what you can do to nail your video for the benefit of your community.

Do you have any favorite videos that aren’t here? Did I miss one that you think should be here? Share it in the comments and let’s see it.

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Bangor Maine Police are Banging On Facebook!

If you subscribe to my news letter, you already know all this since I posted there first (just an added bonus you get from being on the inside)…not subscribed? Click Here to Subscribe To My Newsletter.

I’m sitting in the Airspace Lounge at the San Diego International Airport. This is my eighth airport in two weeks. (I love traveling but not nearly as much as love being home with my family!)

I’m taking a break from trying to catch up on emails to send you this one while drinking water with lemon and cucumber (don’t judge…it’s the water that is served here and it’s actually really good) and snacking on some sort of weird trail mix combination.

I’m not really sure how I ever came across the Bangor Maine Police Department on Facebook, but they are one of those accounts that I regularly look at because I know I’m going to see some great posts.

Bangor Police Facebook Page

Like most police Facebook pages, you’ll find pictures, stories, community awareness and a great sense of humor putting it all together.

Yesterday, a post caught my eye and the very first sentence in it is pretty much sums up why I continually go back to their page again and again.

“The page has become many things. If I were to describe it I would say a community page with a focus on the Bangor Police Department.”

I LOVE THAT!! Just think about what that sentence means…a community page with a focus on the Bangor Police Department!!

Many police departments struggle with just trying to not talk about themselves, while other ones think that their community is their enemy.

The Bangor Police nail exactly why and how social should be done…it’s all about the community. 

Go through their page, which you can get to by clicking here, and you’ll see what I mean. The other thing you’ll probably notice is it is severely lacking something…negative content. Even when they appeal to their community, they find a light way to do it which makes it seem a little less scary.

Oh, I just remembered how I originally found them on Facebook. THE DUCK!!! How could I forget the duck? I know that I wrote about the duck, but I can’t find where I posted…so go find the duck on their Facebook Page and while you’re there, give their page a “Like”.

I just told you about one of my favorite police Facebook accounts, now it’s your turn. Let me know about one of yours. Email me back and tell me about one you love and why!

Well, that’s all from San Diego.

Have a great one!


PS –  I’m offering a free cyber safety webinar Thursday October 1st at 8:00 pm where I’m going to go over some of the hottest issues right now in online safety and security. Feel free to let your fans know about it to learn how they can help to protect themselves.

Just share this link and they can register…  http://www.onlinemeetingnow.com/register/?id=tkgw0m5bjv

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The Silence is Deafening…tic toc, tic toc

UPDATED: 2015.09.16 @ 3:20pm 
The Irving Independent School District released a statement reversing the suspension.

The Irving Police Department issued a press release announcing no charges. 

Hope they all enjoy the damage control for the delay of informing the public…of anything at all. This just can’t happen nowadays.


If I didn’t know what goes on behind the scenes in police investigations and the politics that are in play between government agencies when they all share the media spotlight I would be absolutely astonished by the lack of information coming out of Irving Texas right now. 

Unlike most people, I do have that insight and I can understand what is going on right now even though I’m not there.

The police are running an investigation. The school and school board are trying to do damage control scenarios. The mayor and the city hall staff are on the phones trying to get to the bottom of this all and find a quiet way out.

The problem is, I do know all that and I am actually still astonished that NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT that should be talking about it.

Ahmed Mohamed has become the latest poster child for government gone wrong and in the process is fuelling the divide between old institutions and new realities.

Right now the police, the school board and the town of Irving are having their reputations destroyed because no one is talking from their respective agencies and in this day and age of instant communication, that is not acceptable.

If someone says something negative about you in the social age and you aren’t willing to counter it, explain it or defend yourself and your actions then you are simply judged based on the information available. Right now, the only information available is that a brown student was arrested, handcuffed, detained, interrogated and faces criminal charges for making a clock. Making a clock and taking it to school to show is engineering teacher his accomplishment….enter the large bus from stage left.

Please…someone from the Irving Schools, Irving Police and or Irving City Hall…say something…say anything otherwise the public (on a national scale) is going to make up their minds on what they have available and that is a bunch of, “I told you so.”

Even good information on those agencies social channels is being destroyed by the fact the public has no where else to vent their frustrations and be heard. I’m willing to bet that the agencies you are partnering with wish they were not involved with you right now.

Please, get out in front of the information. Tell your story, add to the narrative, explain the process…do something. Stop being silent, because right now, you’re the only ones that are.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 2.49.03 PM

New York Times:

Dallas Morning News


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#CopChat Topic – Wednesday August 19

#CopChat Periscope8-45pm ET

This week’s #CopChat is going to be like an ‘Open Mic’ night but on three different stages.

Join us on Periscope, Twitter and Blab as we pull back the curtains and let you ask the questions. Normally I put together the topic and design the questions for both our police and community audience.

This time, you ask the questions!

If you want your question moved to the top of the list, send it to me via email and we will make sure it get’s asked and more importantly, answered. Send your questions to: Tim@TwelveSixtySix.com
Cut off for question submission will be 6 pm Eastern Time.

At 8:45 pm ET, be on Periscope where we’ll start with a little pre-chat warm-up.
At 9:00 pm ET, the main event starts on Twitter where we will get into the full swing of things.
At 10:00 pm ET, we’ll close out the triple header of happiness on Blab where we will be opening the seats to you, the audience to ask questions.

So come out and join our group of committed police and peace officers along with some awesome community members that want to build relationships and help each other out as we work together for better, safer communities.

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Facebook Content Not Being Seen? Fix it with these 5 tips!

Facebook’s Algorithm Can Be Tricked…

Facebook content is ruled by an algorithm that can be tricked so your content can be seen.

“It’s just slight of hand and misdirection to trick the Facebook”

Facebook, as a publicly traded company has a responsibility to earn money for its investors, not to give you what you want…views.

A+B=C, if C then D. If D=T+L then, M.
I have no idea what that means but I know it’s a very basic algorithm. A mathematical equation or formula. The language of computer program functionality.

Facebook uses algorithms to determine exactly how your experience will be using the platform based on a multitude of variables, all designed to accumulate data to provide to advertisers to make money to please investors….plain and simple.

“…you mean very little to Facebook…”

Most of us aren’t paying Facebook for anything but we are happy to use their infrastructure to post our messages, thoughts, pictures, videos,…you know, content.For a page, this means you mean very little to Facebook unless you are ‘paying to play’. But, fewer and fewer people are actually seeing that content, even if it is awesome.

How do you get around this algorithm problem and trick Facebook into pushing your content without paying?

You play within the rules of the algorithm for your own benefit. You understand how the algorithm works and you manipulate it. Here’s how.

1) Pictures

Facebook loves pictures. Make pictures part of your content. Make the pictures good so that they get attention.

2) Videos

Facebook after allowing native video has seen a dramatic rise in video use and views. Post videos on a regular basis…even if they aren’t yours but make sure they are videos people will view.

3) Interaction / Engagement

Make sure you reply to people who comment on your content. Like their comments (if appropriate) and reply, even if it’s to just say “Thanks”.

4) Share Great Content

If someone else has produced great content that is popular, share it with your audience AND make sure to include where the information came from.

5) Keep Eyes On Your Content

Think long, sticky content. Facebook is now rewarding content that keep eyes on it longer. With your picture, video, shared content, be willing to write “War and Peace”. Write a long post that will keep eyes on your content. Just look at what Facebook had to say on one of their own recent blog posts about this:

“For example, you may scroll quickly through your News Feed and like a photo of your friend’s graduation, followed by sharing a funny post from your sister. You keep scrolling and happen upon a post your cousin shared detailing everything she did and saw on her recent trip. Her post even includes a photo.

You spend time reading her post and the interesting discussion about the best places to eat that had broken out in the comments on this post, but you don’t feel inclined to like or comment on it yourself. Based on the fact that you didn’t scroll straight past this post and it was on the screen for more time than other posts that were in your News Feed, we infer that it was something you found interesting and we may start to surface more posts like that higher up in your News Feed in the future.”

Bonus Tip…make content that can be re-used, re-formatted and re-purposed. Pay attention to what I actually do with this post….there will be a follow-up to this which will show you everything that I do with it.

This post was originally shared with my Newsletter List…not on the list?? Just sign up here.  

Have a great day!

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Engagement through voyeurism? #CopChat

It’s Wednesday…which means #CopChat night at 9pm.

Don’t know what #CopChat is? Simple, it’s a Twitter chat that happens every Wednesday night at 9pm eastern time. Members of the public are encouraged to come and chat online with members of police agencies.

Some nights we have set topics, other nights it’s just a free for all.

Tonight…it’s a combination night. Using the best that technology has to offer, I’ll be “Scoping” my side of #CopChat. Don’t know what “Scoping” is? It’s the term for using Periscope. It’s a live stream via a mobile device that allows people to interact virtually with the person ‘scoping’.#CopChaton @PeriscopecoI’ve been watching a lot of ‘scopes’ lately…it’s very voyeuristic. You can simply watch the broadcast, read what people are asking and…you can even engage by asking your own question.

Like what you’re seeing? Start taping on your screen and you show your appreciation/approval and hearts start floating up the screen.

So at 9pm, when #CopChat starts on Twitter, I’ll be live on Periscope at the same time…call it a test of my task splitting abilities. This should be fun!!!

If you aren’t on Periscope download the app for your Android or iOS device and explore.

I’ve seen some police agencies experimenting with the platform and I can really see some great applications for police to use this platform for engagement with their communities, but let’s see what the communities think, because that’s where the real value is!



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SMDAY[REBLOG ALERT] I posted this one year ago today but it’s been updated for 2015…

To honor the 6th Mashable Social Media Day, I thought it would be fun to re-write Sir Robert Peel‘s,  “Peel’s Principles of Modern Policing” with a social media focus. Enjoy.

Social Peelian Principle 1

The primary objective for policing efforts through their social media presence must be that of educating and informing the public to assist them in protecting themselves from becoming victims of crime and avoiding conflict.

Social Peelian Principle 2

Police use of social media must at all times consider the public perception of their activities first ensuring those activities are never used to embarrass, humiliate or belittle the public.

Social Peelian Principle 3 

Police use of social media must convey their presence in the best interest of their community with the end user value placed as the paramount reason for posting information.

Social Peelian Principle 4

Using social media as a threat to induce action or as a tool to convey false information in an attempt to sway opinion or involvement will cause a public backlash in the social space and must never occur.

Social Peelian Principle 5

Social media should at all times must be used to strengthen the police commitment to their support of existing laws and regulations and never to pander to the opinion of individuals when the greater good for all is at stake.

Social Peelian Principle 6

Any event where physical confrontation may be anticipated, police must use social media to give warnings, advice and clear legal rules surrounding authorized and justifiable use of force to ensure that every means to avoid conflict are well articulated and that peaceful interactions are known to be the ultimate goal.

Social Peelian Principle 7

The police should at all times share the interests of the public and the public should share the interests of the police when a greater benefit to all can be realized. Both the public and the police must work to solve the problems of the other for they are truly the same.

Social Peelian Principle 8 

Social media is a support mechanism and communication tool for front-line policing and can be utilized as a service multiplier to increase the effectiveness of face-to-face interactions and investigations.  The rules that apply to all aspects of policing must also apply to the use of social media.

Social Peelian Principle 9

The ultimate goal of the police use of social media should be that of constantly moving the community towards less reliance on policing to provide safety, security and service due to an absence of crime through education, awareness and self insulation from crime, criminal activity and disorder management.


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