One of the world’s most popular police departments on Twitter and Facebook is in Bangalore, India.
And it’s all because they took the risk of partnering up with a hip outside consultant.
Last September, when riots broke out in Bangalore city, the best way to get real time information about rerouted traffic, burning buses and violent mobs was via social media.
And the best source? Turned out to be the Bangalore City Police, who were surprisingly active — and effective — on both Facebook and Twitter. They posted updates and information on road blocks and gave out emergency numbers for hospitals and police stations.
Back then, human resources professional Sundaram followed them because, “at that point I found them useful.” And he stuck with them: “There was no reason to unfollow them and I thought ‘maybe for an emergency.'”
Then about three months ago, he noticed an “unexpected” change in their social media style. The police had tweeted an anti-drug peddling PSA with a meme from Narcos, the Netflix show about Colombian drug cartels!
That tweet marked the shift in tone from dry information dissemination to tongue-in-cheek humor that has become a hallmark for the police department’s social media account. That’s the reason for its popularity on Facebook as well as Twitter, where it has gained 300,000 new followers since Krowd Cart Media started pitching in. In the third most unsafe city in India, according to national crime statistics, the police department is now hyperconnected with a local populace. And folks in Bangalore who are social media savvy seem charmed enough by the posts to reevaluate their image of police work as stuffy and boring.