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2010 Army Social Media Book


This is the October 2010 version of the Army Social Media Book. Please feel free to download and share.

This is the October 2010 version of the Army Social Media Book. Please feel free to download and share.

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  • 1. Introduction Our Mission To keep the American people and the Army informed through meaningful conversations and content placement. Contents Communication Revolution .................................................................................. 3 What Is Army Social Media? ................................................................................. 5 Who Does It Impact? .............................................................................................. 6 Start The Conversation .......................................................................................... 7 Powerful Communication Tools ........................................................................... 9 Why Join Army Social Media? .............................................................................. 9 Powerful Numbers ................................................................................................ 10 A Detailed Look .................................................................................................... 11 The Army Homepage ........................................................................................... 12 The Army Live Blog .............................................................................................. 14 The Army on Facebook ........................................................................................ 16 The Army on Twitter ............................................................................................ 18 The Army on Flickr ............................................................................................... 20 The Army on YouTube ......................................................................................... 22 Communicate Confidently .................................................................................. 24 DID YOU KNOW? The Department of Defense has authorized the safe and effective use of Internet-based capabilities which include social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. socialmedia.defense.gov 1
  • 2. A new era of information Communication Revolution People no longer search for news, the news finds them. The only way to truly ensure the correct message is being And in the world of social media the perception of truth shared is through the timely release of accurate information. can be just as powerful as the truth itself. The Internet In the past the decision to participate in social media moves information very quickly, whether for good was optional. Today social media is so widespread and or bad. If you don’t own the space, someone else will transparent that you may already be involved even if you own it for you. Social media, with a variety of available are not actively participating. The Army has chosen to platforms, can instantaneously connect users within a take a proactive approach to social media rather than a global network, making the transfer of information even reactive one. more pervasive. DID YOU KNOW? U.S. forces in Vietnam could enter and leave a village before anyone outside the area was aware of their presence. Today, it is possible that video of the coalition forces activities can be uploaded and shared online prior to the patrol returning to base. MAJ Juanita Chang, Director of Online and Social Media, U.S. Army 2 3
  • 3. An Army Social Media Overview What is Army Social Media? The Army recognizes that social media has the ability to communicate with larger audiences faster and in new ways. It has become an important tool for Army messaging and outreach. The Army Social Media platforms discussed in this book include social networking sites, media sharing sites, blogs, and microblogs. Collectively these sites handle a variety of media from text to audio, pictures, and video; all of which is generated and maintained by organizations and individuals within the Army Family. This book will acquaint you, in greater detail, with Army Social Media and provide suggestions on how you can become part of it. DID YOU KNOW? It took television 13 years to finally reach 50 million people? It took Facebook only 2 years. Erik Qualman at Harvard Square Theater 4 5
  • 4. An Army Social Media Overview Army Blogs Who Does It Impact? The simple answer is “You.” As a member of the Army Family, Army Social Media impacts you. It affects you as part of a garrison where it is being used to increase effective communication, both within the installation and to communities affected by its routines and decisions. It affects you as a member of an operational theater. Social media provides immediate and transparent ways for you to communicate messages and updates among yourselves and Start the Conversation with family and friends. It affects you as a Family member, YouTube whether you are in uniform or supporting a Soldier. Family The power of Army Social Media is best described with the ripple Readiness Groups are creating immediate connections effect. One person tells a handful of others about a story or idea, through social media that would have been impossible to and subsequently those people tell a handful more. Soon that establish through tradition methods. story reaches hundreds of others in a matter of days, hours or even minutes. Social media is blind to demographics, boundlessly crossing the spectrum to all who are willing to listen, observe and share. Its combined power comes from the collective effort of all those involved and will continue to grow so long as the topic remains relevant. Flickr The graphic to the left displays five specific social media platforms highlighted in this book. It is a sampling of how a message exponentially grows within the network of Army Social Media including emerging media. Most social media services and blogs have overlapping features that allow connections between them thus adding more fuel to the power of one person’s message. A tweet about an event made by one individual on Twitter can easily end up on multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. This, along with related photos and videos help expand the ripple effect. DID YOU KNOW? Facebook Twitter Over 75% of all active internet users regularly read blogs. Technorati 6 7
  • 5. An Army Social Media Overview Powerful Communication Tools Why Join Army Social Media? Soldiers have always been the Army’s best and most effective • It allows you to be a part of the Army story messengers. Today, Army Social Media enables the Army • It saves money Family around town, around the country and around the • It provides a platform and helps manage messages world to stay connected and spread the Army’s key themes • It is timely and messages. Every time a member of the Army Family joins • It is conveys information with transparency Army Social Media, it increases the timely and transparent • It reaches audiences where they currently are dissemination of information. It ensures that the Army story • It helps suppress rumors is shared honestly and directly to Americans wherever they are and whenever they want to see, read or hear it. • It moves with the pulse of troops • It is measurable Tips on what works for us • Choose the right message • Develop a communication strategy • Schedule a timely release of information • Keep it concise • Synchronize efforts on all platforms • Post photos or videos of the day • Develop a mixed dose of ‘medicine’ and fun • Keep the conversation moving DID YOU KNOW? Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30 years old. 96% of people born after 1982 have joined a social network. U.S. Census Bureau / Tim Gibson - Web Content Editor at Oxford Brookes University 8 9
  • 6. The General Features Powerful Numbers A Detailed Look When it comes to the question of “Why join Army Social If you are not ready to make the plunge as a messenger, you The rest of this book provides more detail on various social media platforms. As an introduction to Army Social Media, we have Media?,” statistics make a more convincing case than can still ensure your voice is heard by commenting on only highlighted the top five that the Army has a strong presence on – Army Live (the official Army blog), Facebook, Twitter, any other argument out there. The numbers prove that Army blogs such as armystrongstories.com or on other official Flickr and YouTube. Other platforms that the Army is actively contributing to, include Vimeo (vimeo.com/usarmy – a video social media has changed the face of communication and Army Social Media sites. This type of commentary is what hosting site similar to YouTube), and SlideShare (slideshare.net/usarmysocialmedia – a presentation and document sharing site). many are saying it is the biggest advancement in history feeds the system and ultimately gives us a better under- Social media continues to grow daily and evolve as new technologies become available. The Army is committed to exploring all since the industrial Revolution. There is no question standing of your perceptions. It is vital information that is new emerging media platforms as a method of communication. that it has revolutionized the way we communicate by heard on multiple levels. provided a means for everyone’s message to be heard, shared and discussed. Highlighted Platforms Other Resources You no longer need to have a large television studio or new emerging media platforms radio station to communicate with commanding presence. Today, it is just a matter of choosing the service that best 23,719 Interactions This Week [?] 19,589 Likes 3,811 Comments suits your needs and crafting the right message. There are many social media platforms out there but we recommend Key Features starting with the ones that the Army is currently using. You The legend below provides a list of key features that the highlighted platforms offer, along with definitions of each of those can find them by going to Army.mil or continue to read on features. This legend is used as a visual reference throughout the book, with available features appearing in dark gray and for a more in-depth description of each. those not offered appearing in light grey. Profile Information Podcast Support Displays basic specified information about the registered Supports upload or feed of podcast audio and video content. author, user or company / organization. Delivers Feeds Comments / Chat Supports podcast audio content. Allows users to comment on content or send instant messages to other users (depending on offerings of the specific service). Accepts Feeds Supports content fed from other external sources and Notification / Message social media platforms. Allows a user to send notification messages (service specific e-mails) to other users. Mobile Device Compatible Allows a user to read and contribute to this service via a Photo Support mobile device. Supports upload or feed of photo content. Keyword Tagging Video Support Allows a user to add keyword tags to text, photo or Supports upload or feed of video content. video content. Geotagging Allows a user to automatically add location tags to content. 10 11
  • 7. The Army Homepage www.army.mil ( official Army website pictured below ) www.army.mil/socialmedia ( a list of all Army Social Media Web pages ) Army.mil is a site designed Navigate the site to find with the Army community what is important to you, in mind. Here you can but don’t forget to join search news, media and the Army Social Media the Army blog to immerse network to connect to the yourself in what the Army U.S. Army. is currently doing. You can also access Army Live through the blog tab. Army Live Blog Army On Facebook Army On Twitter www.armylive.dodlive.mil www.facebook.com/usarmy www.twitter.com/usarmy The Army.mil homepage delivers daily news about Soldiers, the Army Family and the Army community. Your Army Social Media experience starts here. Connect easily to popular social media platforms by clicking on one of the these icons. You will be taken to the official Army pages for Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. Army On Flickr Army On YouTube www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter www.youtube.com/soldiersmediacenter 12 13
  • 8. The Army on Blogs Army Live Blog Overview Why Should I Blog? www.armylive.dodlive.mil ( official Army blog ) You can find a blog on just about any topic you can think of. Did you ever write a letter-to-the-editor of a newspaper that These days Army-related blogs are no different and provide didn’t get published? What you had to say was noteworthy, a wealth of information submitted by both the author and but it didn’t make it to print. Blogs publish. They have the those commenting on posted articles. Most Army blogs space and, more importantly, the interest to publish your center around a specific topic, because they are generally post. Soldiers and other members of the Army Family have written by those people who have particular knowledge of always told the Army story best. We encourage individual The search window is that topic. On the other hand, the Army’s official blog “Army members, units, companies and commands to create blogs to critical when looking for a Live” provides a more diverse offering of information, simply share news, information and stories of their Army lives. Be a specific topic or article. because it is pulling information from a larger group of blogger. Get published. The RSS feed button sources. allows you to subscribe to automatically receive updates when new If you are hesitant to make the leap into one of the social Army Blog Is On The Go Although the location content is posted. media platforms mentioned in the preceding pages, then might change from blogs may be a good place for you to start. You can comment If you are simply looking to post a comment on the go and blog to blog, this your mobile device has Internet access, then you should be on most blogs with very little up-front commitment. You may region contains the The blog roll provides quick access to top be asked to submit your e-mail address to ensure personal able to do just that. If you have your own blog and want to most recent posts. external links promoted authenticity, but this information is kept private by the blog publish an article from the road, most blog platforms like Each blog post is dated by the blog. administrator. Wordpress and Blogger allow you to e-mail or text your post and generally contains directly from your phone or mobile device. To learn more on the name of the author, Blogs give you the opportunity to interact and share your mobile blogging go to: date of the post and some descriptive tags and opinions on topics you find interesting, as well as learn about www.blogger.com/mobile-start.g category classifications. things you didn’t know existed. This collaborative interaction It also may contain the or and growth of knowledge is at the core of Army Social Media number of comments that m.wordpress.com – where you take it is entirely up to you. If you’re passionate have been posted by other visitors. about sharing your own ideas with the Army community, you may want to consider starting your own blog. Wordpress. com and Blogger.com are two free blog platforms that allow you to easily set up your own blog site in a matter of Recent posts allows you minutes. If you would like to blog officially within or for your to view the most current organization, you must host your blog from a .mil address. articles in the blog. DID YOU KNOW? Over 60% of bloggers say they are most influenced by other bloggers. Technorati 14 15
  • 9. The Army on Facebook Army Facebook Overview Why Join the Army on Facebook? www.facebook.com/USarmy ( official Army Facebook Web page ) Facebook currently is the largest social networking service “Why shouldn’t you?” may be the better question. As a on the Internet with millions of members. Its purpose is member of the Army Family, this is a special time in your simple: Let people with common interests share their stories, life. No matter where you are in your tour or how long it thoughts, observations and ideas. That is why it is a key will last, you have a lot to share with friends, family and Enter username and component of Army Social Media. others. And they have a lot they want to share with you. It’s password here to login to an opportunity to instantly reach out to those you want to Click here to create a your account. Facebook account if you Whether you’re an individual looking to simply connect with connect with regardless of time, space or distance. Tapping do not already have one. others or you belong to a group of people poised to grow into the potential of Facebook is like discovering television The HOOAH! tab, unique to your community’s awareness, Facebook provides the tools or radio for the first time. And it’s free. Every deal should be the Army Facebook page, you need to do just that. Its features are robust, including a this good. engages users to participate central hub of communication, called the “wall,” for posting in all Army Social Media comments that others can see; instant message or “chat” for platforms. having one-on-one conversations with other members; and Facebook Is On The Go The Other Pages tab lists media capability for uploading pictures and videos that help all of the official Facebook you illustrate your story. Imagine this, you are away from your computer and you Profile information about pages affiliated with the hear about an Army initiative worth sharing. If you have a this Facebook user. U.S. Army. The information viewable Your profile can be as secure or as open as you want it to mobile device, you don’t have to wait to share it. There are a to the public is defined be. You can selectively choose who you want to have view variety of tools that allow you to connect with others in the by the user. your profile page or you can allow access to anyone who Army community quickly and securely via Facebook and a chooses to stop by. Those you allow are called “friends” and personal mobile device. To get started go to: they can view and comment on anything in your profile, thus www.facebook.com/mobile beginning the sharing process of social media. If you are a This is a list of all the current Facebook member and would like to receive updates On your mobile device login to your account by going to: people that currently are from the Army’s Facebook page, opt in by clicking “Like.” following this account. m.facebook.com You immediately become part of the Army community and information is fed into your Facebook page automatically. DID YOU KNOW? Facebook has more than 500 million active users worldwide. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest by poulation. Wikipedia / Facebook 16 17
  • 10. The Army on Twitter Army Twitter Overview Why Join the Army on Twitter? www.twitter.com/usarmy ( official Army Twitter Web page ) If you have ever wanted to share an idea or story with others In its simplest form, when people use Twitter they say, in the Army community, but didn’t have time to write a blog “This is what I’m doing, or thinking, right now. Any post or craft an e-mail, then Twitter is the venue for you. It is thoughts about that?” In your unique position as a member a social media platform geared toward short communications of the Army Family, you have people in your life who are Sign into an existing account or click here or “tweets” of 140 characters or less. Twitter conversations particularly interested in your activities and want to know to set up your own user are generally short, concise thoughts, but can be more than what’s on your mind on a regular basis. But time is always account and join the just an exchange of words. precious and there is little of it for correspondence. Twitter is Twitter community. a great way for you to share information in short thoughts, It allows you, your followers and those you follow access include a link and see what others think is important enough to information and knowledge you might otherwise have to share. missed. If you use special keyword tags called hashtags (# symbol preceding a word) to highlight topics, those Account profile where communications are searchable across the entire network Twitter Is On The Go information about the regardless of who sent the tweet or who is following them. Twitter user and external It even allows you to attach a photograph to help illustrate Twitter is all about instant communication, so naturally it links are displayed. your message. can be accessed from most mobile phones and other mobile devices. In short, you don’t have to wait to share it. There The most recent Twitter connects with other social media platforms, like are a variety of tools that allow you to connect with others tweet is displayed Information about the Facebook, and can be fed into existing websites or blogs, in the Army community quickly and securely via Twitter and here. number of followers / allowing others to see those thoughts even if they are not your personal mobile device. To get started go to: following. Twitter members themselves. From Army initiatives and www.twitter.com/downloads Current number of tweets Soldiers using green technology to local news about your this user has submitted. Past tweets submitted unit or family, Twitter instantly links thousands of people in On your mobile device login to your account by going to: by this user are displayed Army Social Media circles across town, across the country and here with a time and Links to the people, m.twitter.com/ date stamp, along with companies or organizations across the world. information on what that a user is following. application was used to When you click on any of send the tweet. the links in this region, it takes you to that user’s DID YOU KNOW? page, where you can view recent tweets and decide to follow them. Then you are able to comment on any tweet that user makes. ... more than one-fifth of the world’s population are online – That’s more than 1.2 billion people. The number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the total population of the planet! Social Media Sandy 18 19
  • 11. The Army on Flickr Army Flickr Overview Why Join the Army on Flickr? www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter ( official Army Flickr Web page ) Media sharing platforms have been around the Internet for Because a picture really is worth a thousand words. many years, but Flickr revolutionized this concept by creating Whether you are a Soldier or a member of the Army Enter your username and online media communities. The basic idea is that you sign community, pictures capture what Army life is like for you. password here to login to into your account, upload your digital photos or videos via And Flickr is your digital scrapbook to help you organize your account. the Web interface, and then share them with your family, those moments so you can share them with your friends Search this photostream. your friends, your community or the world. It sounds easy and family both at home and abroad. Photos uploaded to Click the Join Flickr button because it is easy. And what you can do with your photos the Army’s Flickr account are not restricted by copyright to set up an account if you don’t already have one. does not stop there. regulations so they may be shared by you as well as news or other media outlets. Click any of the links Click on any image to Once your digital media is uploaded, you can add titles see an enlarged view here to sort collections and descriptive keywords known as “tags,” which instantly of photos by sets, keyword tags or view (if available). categorize and sort your media. Like Facebook, you choose Flickr Is On The Go the user’s archives, how private or public you want your account to be in the Information about the favorites and profile. photo, such as a tagline, security settings. If you select the public setting, your photos Most mobile devices feature some sort of camera and credits, etc. are added to the public database, allowing others to view others even have video capability built in. If you have a Date and number of user and comment on them. Yet another feature called “groups” mobile device, you don’t have to wait to share what you’ve comments this photo has. allows you to add your media to a group centered around captured. There are a variety of tools that allow you to people with a common interest. Those who subscribe to a share media with others in the Army community quickly and group can view and discuss any new media as it is added. securely via Flickr and your personal mobile device. To get started go to: The Army currently uses Flickr to share hundreds of photos www.flickr.com/tools/mobile daily with the Army community. The Flickr page (pictured left) is called “Soldiers Media Center” and is a great place to On your mobile device login to your account by going to: start your Flickr experience, comment on photos or simply m.flickr.com learn how it works. DID YOU KNOW? Flickr has more than 3 billion photos uploaded to their servers. Mashable 20 21
  • 12. The Army on YouTube Army YouTube Overview Why Join the Army on YouTube? www.youtube.com/soldiersmediacenter ( official Army YouTube Web page ) Video is considered to be one of the most powerful means On the practical side, YouTube provides a unique opportunity of communication, so it is no surprise that YouTube is one to archive “moving pictures” of a special time in your life. It of the most popular social media platforms on the Internet. is an unlimited storage facility for video that may otherwise Enter username and YouTube serves up more than 100 million videos daily and never be seen. Once stored / saved there, they can be viewed The search window is password here to login to critical when looking for a about ten hours of video footage is uploaded every minute. over and over. Posting your video, allows you and other your account. specific video or topic. If you have video content that you want circulated, YouTube members of the Army Family to share the images and the is the place to put it. stories that they tell. We have control over what is shown about our Army life. You capture the moment. You are All you have to do is upload your videos and add your the movie-maker. You are the teller of tale. And the Army keyword tags and the platform does the rest, compressing community wants to see them and share them. You can subscribe to the You have several sort your new video down to the ideal playback rate in both RSS feed for this YouTube options for searching standard and high definition (if applicable). Your uploaded channel to be updated every time a new video is videos, but can use the search window at any content is searchable and available for anyone to view as YouTube Is On The Go uploaded. time to locate a specific long as you grant public access in your settings. Additionally, video. you can save your favorite videos within your profile for Most mobile devices feature some sort of camera and others Videos featured in the easy access and sharing with others. Just like Flickr, it allows even have video capability. If you have a mobile device, you sidebar are the most you to comment on content, as well as rate videos and don’t have to wait to share what you’ve captured. There are current or relevant. When subscribe to the channels that you find most compelling. a variety of tools that allow you to share media with others you click on one of the in the Army community quickly and securely via YouTube and But the real power of YouTube comes in its ability to be fed links here, it will play the video selected in the and embedded into just about any type of website or social your personal mobile device. To get started go to: viewer to the left. media site on the Web, including Facebook. www.youtube.com/mobile The player in YouTube shows you a progress bar The Army currently runs their own channel on YouTube On your mobile device login to your account by going to: of the loaded content as well as content played. (pictured left) called “Soldiers Media Center.” There you m.youtube.com/mobile It also shows you the can find Army videos containing current Army news and duration of the video and Soldier generated content. gives you options to view the video at high definition (if available) and at full DID YOU KNOW? screen view. If it were a standalone site, YouTube would be the second largest search engine in the world after Google. TechCrunch 22 23
  • 13. Communicate Confidently Security Items to Consider Communication is at the core of every successful U.S. Army • Take a close look at your privacy settings. Set your security operation – past and present. Today the Army is using the options to allow visibility to friends only. power of communication in a new way – through social • Don’t reveal sensitive information about yourself, such media. Tools, such as the Army Live blog, Facebook, Twitter as your contacts, schedules and event locations. Once it’s and many others, already exist and have proven successful out there you can’t get it back. in getting the word out. The Army Social Media initiative continues to grow and evolve as the social media industry • Ask yourself, “What could the wrong person do with this expands. Using Army.mil as our hub, thousands of people information?” and “Could it compromise the safety of already have joined the effort and we expect thousands myself or my family?” more to join in the future. • Verify through other channels that a “friend” request was actually someone you know personally. By establishing a dialogue with our audience, we remain a conduit of information, thereby increasing our • Geotagging is a feature that reveals your location to other capability at a pace relevant to public interest. We continue people within your network. Consider turning off any to look ahead to the next social media development to geotagging functionality. It may supply information which remain relevant and current. We encourage you to join us could be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. in exploring the potential of Army Social Media and hope this book offers you clear guidance and insight on the • Closely review photos before you post them online. Make resources available to begin your own discussions. sure they don’t give away sensitive information like future operations or future family plans. • Make sure family and friends are careful when they post photos of you. Talk to them about military restrictions and Operational Security (OPSEC). • Ensure photographs do not violate General Order #1, which restricts photography taken on deployment. • Videos can go viral very quickly, make sure the information you record is suitable to be viewed by a large audience. It should represent the Army well and adhere to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). • Beware of “apps” or plugins, which are often written by unknown third parties sofware developers who might use them to access your sensitive data.
  • 14. Office of the Chief of Public Affairs Room 1E460 Pentagon, Washington, DC