The City of Orange has joined the social media realm with the new Orange Texas Gov page on Facebook. This page has been designed to keep followers informed of events, activities, city happenings and important information which is relevant to the citizens of Orange.

By Tommy Mann Jr. – The Record

The City of Orange is the latest governmental entity to take to social media and keep citizens informed. The city has officially created the Orange Texas Gov page, which can be found on Facebook.

According to Jay Trahan, the assistant city manager for the City of Orange, and Hillary Haynes, the city’s social media coordinator, the purpose of creating the page and its intent was simple.

“It’s all about creating awareness,” Trahan said. “Studies shows that 70 percent of social media traffic is driven by Facebook and we want to use Facebook to create awareness of the city and its city departments.”

The City of Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau has had an established Facebook page for several years now, but Trahan said Mayor Jimmy Sims and the rest of city council were concerned about creating awareness of other events and what these city departments do.

This concern led the creation of a full-time social media coordinator position with the City of Orange and the hiring of Haynes, who began working for the city in April.

Haynes, who is a graduate of Orangefield High School and obtained her Bachelor’s degree of Business Administration in Marketing from Lamar University, said she spent a considerable amount of time researching other similar social media pages for cities such as Houston and Austin.

“It was important to look at those various Facebook pages to learn about their social media policies in terms of content and administration duties on posts,” she explained. “It helped us determine how we wanted the page to look.”

The new Orange Texas Gov page, according to Haynes, will include a variety of information for the community, including activities and information on items.

Previous items posted have included details about the summer reading program at the Orange Public Library, recognition of city employees who have received certifications or promotions, or even those who have retired. Grand opening information, profiles of city councilmembers or city employees may be included, as well as notifications from various city departments such a emergency road closures or water service disruptions.

“We all like to know what is happening in our community,” Trahan added. “And we like to put faces with the names, so this Facebook page is another way to keep the community informed on what is happening in the city.

“This is still new for us and we’re navigating it one step at a time,” he continued. “We are taking a city-wide approach to it and using it to create a positive outlet for information about things happening in the City of Orange.”

Haynes, who is working in close contact with all city departments to ensure relevant information is shared with those who are following the Orange Texas Gov page on Facebook as quickly as possible, has enjoyed her short time with the city and being on the creative side of such an endeavor.

“Launching this Facebook page has been the highlight of my time as social media coordinator so far,” she said. “And we judge how successful this page is by how many views each item gets and how many likes, but the real key is how many times it is shared. The more times a post is shared, then the more people there are seeing it.”

Sharing posts is a strength of the new Facebook page and one the the city is utilizing by sharing posts from the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce and Stark Cultural Venues, as well as others.

“We are sharing their posts and, when they share our posts, it will connect the city with the followers of these other organizations,” Trahan said.

Plans are already in the works for the next step in social media expansion for the City of Orange, but the main goal is focus on the city’s Facebook page, which has the bright logo and blue map background with the City of Orange pinpointed in the middle.

“We just really want to encourage peole to like the page and to see what is happening with the City of Orange,” Trahan said. “It’s much more involved than I thought it would be, and I think it will create a lot of awareness for the community.”

Area residents can learn more about this new page online at www.facebook.com/orangetexasgov or by contacting Haynes at socialmedia@orangetexasgov.us.