A SUCCESS STORY: MORE DETAILS
Facts about Eden Prairie's Facebook page, which won an award of excellence from the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators in 2010:
• Launched August 2009; now has 3,000 "friends" and 500,000 views a year.
• 62 percent of the friends are female and 37 percent are male. The largest user group is 25 to 34 years old (37 percent).
• The city's website and its Facebook page now get an equal number of visitors each day. During the first week of October, the average number of "unique visits" -- different people -- to the website was 1,144 per day and for Facebook, 1,179.
• The city doesn't just use it for pronouncements but uses Facebook as a "grab bag" of less formal bits of information: a trivia question of the day or a question about where's the best place to get a burger. There are links to the city manager's blog or a picture followed by "where is this in Eden Prairie?"
• The city says it strives for an informal tone so readers feel at ease asking questions.
• Three members of the city's communication staff get an e-mail any time someone comments on the page. The aim is for one of the three to respond as soon as possible, even on weekends.
• Next year the city plans to make use of the page to ask for comments on specific issues. An example: "We're thinking of adding a swing set to a park -- what do you think?"