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UPDATED: South Korean Police And Social Media

Sergeant Like Reporting For Duty 

Last week, we covered an article about the US police force using social media to help them combat crime. Now we'll look at another police force who have also taken to social media in a big way.  

The Busan Metropolitan Police Agency (BMPA) in South Korea has been getting exceptionally savvy with their social media. They've been using it to their advantage in a very proficient and, more importantly, neighborly manner.

source: hicpoa.org

I’m sure you’re as surprised as I am to find out that they've managed to amass over 130,000 likes on their Facebook page and have a long line of comments engaging with users on every single post.

Police officer Jang Jae-i is the force behind BMPA’s social media success. Their social media guru has helped them gain a respectable presence not just on Facebook, but also on Twitter as well as KakaoStory, a photo sharing app similar to Instagram, but much more popular in South Korea.  

What remains most positive about BMPA’s social media success is the friendly and neighborly way they have used to engage with their followers. Jang commented that developing a rapport with the community has been key since last year when she took on the position. "I adopted a narrative style for the posts to get closer to the public, I try to sound light and amusing, as if I'm talking to a friend."

This friendly approach should be one that is used by all organisations trying to use social media to become more embraced by their audience. I know how much I value social media engagement, especially when the organisation trying to reach me attempts to speak to me on my own level. Take a look at the game company Ubisoft who have come under recent fire for talking down to their audiences. They've successfully severed a huge amount of faith and respect from their fan base in the space of a few weeks. Naughty naughty.

(Source: facebookjustice.wordpress.com)

BMPA’s social media presence is a stark comparison to the issues the UK police force faced earlier this year when hundreds of police officers were investigated for breaching social media guidelines. Freedom of Information requests from the Press Association found that officers had been making racist remarks online and had requested victims of crimes to be friends on Facebook. I feel sad that the officer who pulled me over a few years back for forgetting about my MOT didn't want to be Facebook friends. Was it something I said?  

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, commented that: "Social media is an incredibly useful tool for engaging with local communities and gathering intelligence.” With the BMPA’s successes it feels like our police force in the UK isn't making the most of its social media presence. Just having a Facebook and Twitter page to gather intelligence isn't enough. It’s about building a relationship with your community on a new level now.

When Jang was asked about what her most successful post was, she said that reaching the public was her only concern and that she puts the utmost effort into every post.

I don’t think I can say that I feel like we’re approached the same way by the police in the UK yet.
But hey, it’s early days yet.
Well, it’s not really.

Come on, chaps. Step it up. 

Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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UPDATED: South Korean Police And Social Media Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 Rating: 5
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