How Did a Sewer District Grow a National Twitter Following?

Apr 4, 2022

Public agencies were still figuring out how social media could work for them when John Gonzalez started the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Twitter account, @NEORSD, in 2010. Since then, he has built a strong following of utility customers who keep up with his posts not only for critical information, but for a steady stream of sewer humor. Gonzalez recently talked to GT about how he grew the utility’s success online.

1. How do you balance humor and respectability on Twitter?

People can trust that our Twitter content, our personality, is authentic. We’re emotional creatures who crave relationships, who laugh at difficult topics. We like to connect with people who share our points of view and look forward to conversations with people who disagree with us, and I think that that’s where people come to trust that we’re being real. We’re not just simply generating this content with an AI behind it. The utility service that we provide is touching people’s lives, cleaning their water, managing their streams, and they’re interacting with our services whether they know it or not. The more that they can see our content be relevant to them, the more likely they are to come to us when they do have a problem because they recognize that we are aware of the realities that they’re facing.
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