I recently attended the “Advanced New Media Strategies Conference” for Federal agencies in Alexandria, VA. There were lots of great Social Media case studies, both internal and external.
Here are my notes from some of the highlights of the conference:
Why Use Social Media?
• To be alerted when the organization is mentioned
• To create a dialogue with the public
• To join the conversation and bring credibility
• To increase workforce engagement and knowledge transfer
With social media you cannot control the conversations, you can only hope to control the effect of the message by staying in the conversation
EXTERNAL SOCIAL MEDIA: SUCCESS STORIES
Last year CDC was actively listening and monitoring to correct misinformation about swine flu. Now, Facebook fans of the CDC page step in to correct misinformation, for example, myths about autism; CDC doesn’t even have to respond.
• Participates on a dozen social networks. 650,000 people have engaged with them online in the past year. They’ve fielded over 45,000 comments on their platforms
Building Developer Community / Open Gov
• FCC.gov/developer: build community around data and people engaging with data. Get feedback from developers.
• They crowdsource the data and enable the API for people to build apps from it. (e.g., app people could download to measure their broadband speed.)
• Opened up rulemaking for enlightenment from the public.
• Publish content into HTML and Blogs instead of PDFs
• Restructure the way the gov. shares information online “measure by participation and impact”
Bureau of the Census used Social Media channels to correct myths and respond to controversy.
IRS is leveraging Social Media for recruiting, targeting a younger audience.
FDA leveraged podcasts, videos and mobile phone apps to share their messages about Tobacco – messaging across as many platforms as possible. (65% of Adults need to hear a message 3-5 times before they believe it)
• Significant presence: 150 Facebook accounts, 90 Twitter accounts, 15 flickr accounts. Decentralized: “let the airmen tell the story for them.”
• They have been engaged so long they’re trying to avoid going into a “Sophomore Slump”
• Social Media Team responsibilities:
o Research (identify the “next Facebook”)
o Reputation Management (monitoring, responding, outreach)
o Assessment: Metrics analysis (helps drive strategy)
• Problem: Executives fear that Social Media poses a security risk and is a waste of time Solution: Counter with education, workshops and conferences
US Navy: Best Practices
• 230,000 Facebook Fans
• “Micro Content” – break existing Web content into pieces
• Custom content created for social networks
• Relevant stories from other sources
• Photo of the week – vote for your favorite photo
• Recognition of individual contributors – highlight on a weekly basis.
• Historical events
• Question of the week
• Status update, updated at least weekly
• “Interviews” with top executives – send them 5 questions and post the answers verbatim
• Need a team approach to publishing (for backup)
• Use google calendar for a content calendar
• Spread news out throughout the day, post in AM then in afternoon.
• Sometimes repeat the same messages.
• Make external social media as personal as possible: people want to be a fan of a person, not an agency (from Steve Ressler of Govloop)
Dept. of Labor: Outreach Ideas
• Sec. of Labor blog, video diaries of travels use Facebook to answer email FAQs in 24 hours: use as a customer service tool to better connect with people
• Embed a Flickr URL in press releases, makes pics available to reporters
• Use a FlipCam to do on-the-spot interviews
• Instead of traveling for speeches: record them and put them on YouTube (a 9-minute video got 13,000 views)
• OpEds: Customized 91 OpEds with a link to the speech, special custom flash page with video, map of OpEds, Radio Shows and Print Interviews
• Create “a day in the life of” video series
INTERNAL SOCIAL MEDIA
• DoD Used and Internal Wiki, “Intellipedia” to develop their social media policy – Someone said “it’s going to take 2 years.” Within 24 hours had 200 subject matter experts collaborating on the document. Within 76 hours had the bulk of the core document finished. After 5 months of reviews the bulk of the core document had not changed.
• Nuclear Regulatory Commission had 3900 collective years of experience leaving the agency every year, needed to capture that knowledge – so they started an Internal Social Network. They are #1 best place to work in Federal government.
• State Department created an internal collaboration platform
o Foreign service officers move every 2 years — needed institutional knowledge
o 12,500 articles on the internal Wiki
o 45,000 pageviews a week (after 3 years)
o Professional Networking: you can identify expertise and link to your content
o Reverse mentoring with millenials
o Beta group of 300…”invite 10 friends
• “NASA@Work” is an internal collaboration tool. When it comes to suggestions about internal business process improvement, they need to plan for resources to move the ideas through the system.
Failures: “If you build it, they may not come”
• Air Force built an internal social network but NO ONE IS USING IT — Demonstrates the importance of a community manager.
• NASA Spacebook is widely considered to be a failure
Choosing a Platform: Evaluate Culture and Objectives
• If you’re going for “discoverability” and want random people to join the community, then it should be more Web based and agile.
• If you need locked-down documents and version control then you’ll want Sharepoint, which has latency issues for remote users.
GovLoop: Best Practices for Building Community
• Building audience and engagement is very difficult
• “Spend as much on community management as on the technology”