How Police Departments Can Successfully Use Social Media for Community Outreach

first responder marketing

According to studies, 72.3% of the total US population uses social media in some form. From marketing to public relations to just pure entertainment, social media is the easiest way for companies or organizations to reach a large target audience all at once.

This is no different for police departments. Social media presence is becoming more common for police departments and other first responder agencies. Social media for police departments allows you to reach a broader audience with real-time information and community outreach, and it is a valuable tool to connect with those you serve and listen to public feedback. 

When you partner with 9-ONE-1 Marketing for your social media marketing services, we can help you expand your community outreach, become more visible as an organization, and take your marketing efforts to the next level. Below, our experts share ways police departments can successfully use social media for community outreach.


To maximize the effectiveness of social media for police departments, you need to engage directly with your audience. This means more than just using social media as a newsletter or bulletin board. It is crucial to respond to people that are interacting with your posts or asking follow-up questions. You want to communicate in a professional yet human tone that humanizes your department and lets your audience know they are interacting with real people.

Never ignore any negative criticism. Respond to constructive feedback and let your community know you listen and are open to change and growth when necessary. On the other hand, be careful not to take the bait with trolling and engage in an argument that will open yourself up to more criticism.


Law enforcement organizations and employees tend to be painted with an expansive brush. Utilizing social media is a great way to let your community know “who” is protecting them. You want to be authentic and transparent and give your community a chance to put a face or a story to your department. Photos of officers or quick videos of them telling their stories and a little about themselves are a great way for your audience to connect with you on a more personal level.


Being a police officer is a serious job. First responders sign up to put their life on the line at any moment and are often in very tough or tense situations. Social media is one of the few places where a police department can use some personality and have fun. 

Using memes, GIFs, and other fun social media tools is a great way to inform your community and offer helpful safety tips, but do it in a fun and entertaining way. 


People today spend hours using social media and come across hundreds of brands and organizations. Social media users can almost immediately tell when a brand is not authentic. The worst thing a social media account can elicit is apathy. Sharing heartwarming stories, heroic tales, or relatable happenings around your department is a great way to appeal to your audience and establish an emotional connection. A connection builds trust with your community and creates positive public relations narratives.


Finally, the number one job of a police department is to keep people safe. Social media is a vital tool that provides real-time alerts, updates, and safety warnings to your community. Utilizing striking captions or attention-grabbing photos or graphics can help spread awareness and ensure your message is seen. Helpful tips and reminders around events like holidays or events are a great way for police departments to engage with the community while maintaining a focus on public safety. Encourage sharing to help spread awareness. 

9-ONE-1 Social Media Marketing Services

It is your responsibility to protect the community and save lives, and optimizing your social media is likely not at the top of your priority list. Luckily, that is our top priority. When you partner with 9-ONE-1 Marketing, we can create a focused marketing plan that connects you with your target audience to engage, introduce, entertain, connect and inform your community. Contact us today!