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Social Media Guide for Government


Research guide that highlights results from a survey of more than 100 public sector professionals as well as concrete case studies and how-to information for implementing social media in at the …

Research guide that highlights results from a survey of more than 100 public sector professionals as well as concrete case studies and how-to information for implementing social media in at the federal, state or local level of government. For more information, please see http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/the-social-media-experiment-in-government-elements-of-excellence-

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  • 1. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE1. WELCOME CONTENTS About GovLoop - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3 Introduction - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4 IMPORTANCE: STATE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN GOVERNMENT -------8 Objectives and Outcomes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9 13 Obvious Outcomes From Social Media Use in Government - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10 Tracking and Tools - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 13 IMPACT: STORIES OF MISSION ACHIEVEMENT - - - - - - - - - - - - - 18 Budgets/Finance - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 19 Community Planning - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 19 Crime Reduction - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 20 Emergency Management - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 21 Environmental Stewardship - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 23
  • 2. 2. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA Health Care - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 23 Internal Operations - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 24 Parks and Recreation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 24Maximum Mission Impact - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 26 Integrating Email and Social Media for Optimal Outcomes with GovDelivery - - - - - - 26IMPLEMENTATION: STEPS TO STRATEGIC INTEGRATION - - - - - - - - - 30 Purpose - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 30 People - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 31 Plan - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 32 Produce - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 33 Promote / Participate - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 34 Process - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 37 Policy - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 38Final Thoughts & GovLoop Resources - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 41
  • 3. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE3. ABOUT GOVLOOP Location GovLoop is headquartered in Washington D.C., with a team of dedicated professionals who share a commitment to connect and improve government. GovLoop 734 15th St NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 Phone: (202) 407-7421 Fax: (202) 407-7501 GovLoop’s mission is to connect government to GovLoop works with top industry partners to improve government. We aim to inspire public provide resources and tools to the government sector professionals by acting as the knowl- community. GovLoop has developed a variety edge network for government. The GovLoop of guides, infographics, online training and community has over 65,000 members work- educational events, all to help public sector ing to foster collaboration, solve problems and professionals become more efficient Civil Ser- share resources across government. vants. The GovLoop community has been widely GovLoop’s report, The Social Media Experiment recognized across multiple sectors. GovLoop in Government: Elements of Excellence is spon- members come from across the public sector. sored by GovDelivery. Our membership includes federal, state, and local public servants, industry experts and pro- If you have questions on this report, please feel fessionals grounded in academic research. To- free to reach out to Andrew Krzmarzick, Gov- day, GovLoop is the leading site for addressing Loop Director of Community Engagement at public sector issues. andrew@govloop.com.
  • 4. 4. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA INTRODUCTION“THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR IS NOT JUST A FAD. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ACROSS THE GLOBE AND AT ALL LEVELS ARE LEARNING TO ADAPT THESE NEW PRINCIPLES AND TECHNOLOGIES INTO THEIR RESPECTIVE MISSIONS AND GOALS.”That’s how Syracuse Professor Ines Mergel and ing applied in government today. At that pointWake County, North Carolina, Chief Informa- agencies can make an informed decision abouttion Officer (CIO) Bill Greeves summarize the how and when and why they will choose to usestate of social media in government in their or not to use social media to meet their organi-book entitled, “Social Media in the Public Sec- zational goals.”tor Field Guide.” They go on to explain why so-cial media has become so important to the core Notice that the word “communication” is notfunctions of many government organizations: used in their summation of social media’s influ- ence within government. Instead, the authors“If agencies are interested in maintaining a talk about adapting social media into the mis-flow of information with constituents and pro- sion for usable services and informed deci-viding usable services, they must take the time sion-making -- all tied to organizational goals.to understand what social media are and learn There’s nothing wrong with communications,about the relevant tools and how they are be- of course, but truly sustainable social media
  • 5. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE5. efforts will be increasingly and The trend of ‘social media as Loop survey that garnered the inextricably linked to the core a service’ tracks the transi- insights of more than100 fed- functions of government. tion of social media from eral, state and local govern- a siloed communications ment professionals. The Fels Institute for Govern- and marketing tool to a dy- ment reinforces this theme in namic organizational tool. 2. Impact its 2012 report entitled, “The It encapsulates the concept Rise of Social Government” and that social media is now be- When social media is priori- coins the term “social media as ing harnessed within govern- tized, what is its demonstrable a service,” which they describe ment to not only connect value? We highlight eight case in this way (bold added for em- and share with constituents studies of social media applied phasis): but also to help perform in mission-related scenarios, core services better, faster covering functional areas such “The overwhelming major- and in a way that incorpo- as budgeting, community ity of city governments in- rates the web-based and planning, emergency manage- terviewed for this report are real-time functionality of ment and health services. experimenting with the in- social media. tegration of social media 3. Implementation tools in core government The Fels report dedicates an operations such as service entire section to sharing ex- How can you replicate these delivery, emergency man- amples of “social media as a successful social media experi- agement and economic de- service” -- instances where so- ments in your agency? Based velopment. This dynamic cial media has been applied trend, termed by this report to core functions, such as eco- as ‘social media as a service,’ nomic development, political can be defined as the transi- engagement / policy feedback, tion of government services emergency management and from traditional models of internal operations. government operations to social media, on-demand, This guide builds upon both based models. the “Social Media in the Pub- lic Sector Field Guide” and ‘Social media as a service’ is the Fels report by uncovering a term based on the popu- additional case studies and lar concept of ‘software as a presenting bright spots of so- service’ – which mapped the cial media experimentation in transition of the software government. Specifically, this delivery model from physical guide is broken up into the fol- delivery to on-demand, web- lowing three sections: based delivery. The concept “social media as a service” 1. Importance similarly seeks to define an observed new shift of utiliz- Are government agencies ing social media to transform viewing social media as a pri- government operations into ority or a peripheral activity? web-based and on-demand In this section, we will reveal models. some of the results of a Gov-
  • 6. 6. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIAon what we learned in the firsttwo sections, we provide a “social media is now being harnessedtemplate for you to set up your within government to not only con-own social media experiments– along with monitoring and nect and share with constituents butreporting tools to demonstratevalue in your agency. also to help perform core services better, faster and in a way that in-Our hope is that this guide ishighly practical and provides corporates the web-based and real-a resource to share with keystakeholders, helping you to time functionality of social media.”make the case for embeddingsocial media into the core “The Rise of Social Government”,functions of your agency - not The Fels Institute for Governmentonly as a communications andmarketing vehicle, but alsoas a means to clear missionachievement.
  • 8. 8. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA Importance State of Social Media in Government In February 2013, GovLoop launched a web- It’s probably no surprise that respondents based survey, eliciting feedback from commu- named Facebook (88%) and Twitter (82%) as nity members regarding the current impact of the top two social media tools used by their social media in the public sector. The survey organizations. Agencies also reported using contained 10 questions and received more YouTube (61%), blogs (45%) and LinkedIn (42%). than 100 responses. Participants represented Less-used tools included Google+ (18%) and all levels of government, with 38% of respon- Wordpress (17%). dents being federal government, 23% working in state government and 30% serving in local Overall, the survey addressed two main ques- government (19% city and 10% county). tions regarding social media deployment in government: 10.1% Other What are the primary objectives and de- monstrable outcomes of social media use 10.1% in government? 37.6% CountyFederal How are agencies tracking social media Level of and what tools do they use? Government / Type We wanted to learn about the ways in which so- of Organization cial media has led to clear, mission-related out- 19.3% comes in government, like cost savings, time City savings, broader reach to key stakeholders and more valuable input for decision-making - and how agencies know if they are achieving core 22.9% objectives. Below we explore each question in State turn.
  • 9. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE9. What is your 85.1% organization’s primary 21.1% 30.7% 14.9% 16.7% objective in 8.8% using social Distribute information Receive feedback Have Inform conversations policy Drive innovation Other media? Objectives and Outcomes Far and away, survey respon- at least when compared to op- spond to that question, we dents indicated that the most portunities for engagement learned the following insights: significant objective for gov- and feedback that can impact ernment organizations when it policy and programs. “Social media is not a cost comes to social media is “more saver or necessarily a time effective distribution of infor- Almost nine of out ten respon- saver if you are creating cus- mation to citizens and com- dents (86%) indicated that so- tom content and truly en- munities, whether for aware- cial media has led to a broader gaging the public. You may ness, education or emergency overall reach to constituents have cost adjustments, but response” as 85% selected this and 53% achieved greater ef- not savings.” option from among several al- ficiency in receiving and deliv- ternatives (please see the chart ering information. To a much “With budget restrictions, above). In contrast, just 31% of lesser degree (30%), agencies advertising dollars have respondents chose “engaging are receiving feedback on been cut and social media in a back-and-forth exchange policies, projects or special gives us an outlet for our in- / conversation with the pub- services that lead to agency formation that is “free”.” lic on mission-related activi- improvement or efficiency in ties” as their primary objective. delivering services (26%). “We are able to do more with This clearly indicates that -- for less money through engage- most agencies -- social media While we wanted to see more ment, outreach and rela- is still largely considered a examples of cost and time tional campaigns with our “push” communications tool, savings, for those who did re- visitors and taxpayers. Also,
  • 10. 10. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIAHas social media 85.7%led to any of the 52.8%following 29.7% 26.4%demonstrable 11% 12.1%mission impacts Cost savings Time savings Broader reach Policy improvement Efficient information Efficient servicein your exchange deliveryorganization? the addition of PAID sea- social media success continue nication as customer support sonal college interns (and to be the specific accounts and feedback.” They are also as needed Volunteers) have of how agencies are finding using it to promote their “rev- provided a significant de- mission-related value with so- enue generators” and to listen crease in staffing costs and cial media. Here are some of “to what the public wants, not promoted an environment the specific ways agencies are what we want to do.” One state of internal Volunteerism for achieving that kind of impact: cited the following wins from full-time/part-time Staff social media: to do more for the mission 13 Obvious Outcomes from without getting paid.” Social Media Use in Gov- Provided more accessible ernment information, guides, maps, “While total time spent re- and nearly a 24/7 outlet of sponding to citizen requests communication for visitors 1. GENERATE REVENUE TO AUG- has gone up, we have more MENT TIGHT BUDGETS interaction and can reach Advised visitors and pro- more people with each an- moted “for sale” and “to When it comes to tourism and swer, as opposed to answer- purchase” items and ser- hospitality, which is the eco- ing each phone call/letter/ vices that meet the wants nomic engine for many states, email individually.” or needs of the taxpayers social media has enabled one - without adding a financial team to more effectively serveIn light of that context, the burden (aka without more as “the direct line of commu-most powerful indicators of taxpayer dollars) to further our mission
  • 11. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE11. Lowered our appropriations make information available the visitor opts in to receive from $2.2m in 2004/2005 to to people whose busy sched- emails, they are essentially $700k in 2010/2011 (and ules otherwise conflicted with giving the agency permission further lowering over the regular city council meeting to continue a longer-term con- past few years) to maintain times. By sharing information versation with them. AND surpass visitors’ ex- through Facebook and involv- pectations AND offer more ing citizens in the process, it 4. INCREASE EVENT REGISTRATION opportunities with less tax- helped to establish credibility payer support. and support for council deci- One Parks and Recreation De- sion-making. partment reported seeing “a The respondent noted that direct correlation between “This is not creative accounting Based on survey responses posts about programs and - it is simple: cut waste, lower collected at the conclusion of registration deadlines, and expenses, increase partner- the Virtual Town Hall, citizens actual registrations.” Another ships, offer more experiences, agreed that the campaign agency “found Facebook ad- increase revenues, re-evaluate made the budgeting process vertising to be very effective in goals and revenue generators, more open and transparent to promoting our special events.” focus on self-sustainability, re- them. They felt involved in the That same agency tweets its peat -- all with the taxpayer in decision-making process. At “programs and events 10 days mind and our mission intact.” the time that the Virtual Town out and have also found in- Hall was conducted, the City creased attendance. Surveying Now that’s concrete impact! was confronted with the real- is showing that these meth- ity of having to increase tax ods are successful.” Ultimately, 2. ELICIT BUDGET INPUT FROM rates $0.85/per thousand in Facebook and Twitter are not COMMUNITY RESIDENTS the general fund levy as well as the final destination; they are increased to water and sewer conduits to in-person engage- In 2012, one city “established rates. Thanks to the transpar- ment and citizen participation. a ‘Virtual Town Hall’ utilizing ency generated by the Virtual Facebook as the communica- Town Hall, citizens were well 5. REACH UNDERSERVED AUDI- tion channel.” They “shared informed and there was very ENCES DURING KEY INITIATIVES with residents’ information little pushback when rates about the upcoming budget were raised. One agency cited a specific de- session and asked for feedback ployment of social media “dur- that we could share with City 3. DRIVE FOLLOWERS TO A SPECIF- ing our 2012 Bond Referendum Council members. The cam- IC WEBSITE FOR EMAIL SIGN-UPS education effort. It helped get paign generated over 3,000 the word out to sections of the unique views and resulted in One survey respondent indi- town who may not have other- 450 new Facebook fans in a cated that they use Twitter “to wise paid attention.” Similarly, period of two months.” Com- drive users back to our site to another respondent indicated pared to the budget hearings specific areas.” Their tactical that Facebook was allowing of years prior, typically only a approach to building and sus- them to see “deeper reach into handful of people would show taining a relationship with site underserved demographics” up – 4 or 5 out of a community visitors is to “encourage them and attract citizens to share of nearly 50,000. The Virtual to sign up for emails alerts ar- their feedback in ways that Town Hall was established to eas that interest them.” Once they never did prior to social media.
  • 12. 12. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA6. GET ACCURATE INFORMATIONOUT MORE QUICKLY DURING EMER-GENCIES“I work in a communications of-fice,” said a survey respondent,“and our use of Twitter to getquick information to the pressand other stakeholders aboutemergencies, events and otherissues has been most effectivefor us.” In addition, a state levelagency indicated that, “Twit-ter has been a great tool dur-ing emergency incidents orinclement weather. We tweetroad closures, power outages,fires, and gain the most follow-ers during those times.”7. RESPOND TO QUESTIONS ONE TOMANY VS. ONE TO ONEOne of the benefits of social other people who might also 9. RECEIVE VALUABLE DATA FROMmedia is the efficiency of one have the same concerns.” CITIZENS IN REAL-TIMEto many communication - withan opportunity for direct, on- 8. ENGAGE WITH KEY BUSINESS Our skies are safer becausegoing public dialogue on com- STAKEHOLDERS of social media, according tomon questions and concerns. one regulatory agency: “Twit-One agency said, “Our techni- What if businesses could be ter allows our stakeholders tocal blog has received a lot of better connected to govern- report aviation safety issues,great feedback - it gives us the ment? That’s what one state- which result in investigationsroom to answer specific user level department of admin- and providing more informa-questions.” Moreover, having istration discovered: “Twitter tion to everyone to help miti-a blog “gives us a way of talk- has been a great way to con- gate future risks. It allows using directly to people and get- nect with our target market to publicly educate.” Moreover,ting the word out about our in the business sector. Twitter the City of Philadelphia usedinitiatives.” Facebook enables has made it easier to collabo- Twitter during Hurricane San-a similar level of engagement: rate with partners and share dy to spread awareness, news“It lets us interact with peo- opportunities in real-time. Our and information on the storm.ple -- including people who division still uses other chan- According to a recent blog onare skeptical of our progress. nels of communication, but GovLoop, “Philly311 was theWhen we answer those ques- social media allows the public 33rd most downloaded apptions/comments we are giving another means to communi- (out of millions!) in the entirethose answers to thousands of cate with us.” iTunes app store, empowering
  • 13. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE13. over 7,000 residents in total picture taking is a victory both How Do Agencies Track with the ability to respond to in terms of budgets and in Hurricane Sandy and report the building up of hometown Social Media Impact? damage immediately. Just pride. In addition to learning about one week after the storm, the real agency impact stories, we city received over 743 service 12. AVERT A PUBLIC RELATIONS also wanted to find out how requests” that enabled it to DISASTER agencies track and report on respond more quickly to trou- social media metrics. We con- bled residents. One agency indicated that they nected the survey to the “So- “had particularly great results cial Media Metrics for Federal 10. ENABLE SENIOR LEADERS on Twitter, both with monitor- Agencies” resources that were TO KEEP GEOGRAPHICALLY-DIS- ing and reputation manage- released in February 2013 by PERSED STAFF INFORMED ment and with our reach.” They the U.S. General Services Ad- recounted a story from early ministration (GSA). With these “With the issues of the con- 2012 when they “averted a po- metrics, GSA’s stated intent is tinuing resolution and seques- tential public relations night- to provide “a framework for tration, plus the difficulty in mare by monitoring and dis- agencies to measure the value getting the word out to over covering negative sentiment and impact of social media in 11,000 personnel, many of towards the FAA.” The agency addressing agency mission whom have no computer ac- was able to respond quickly and program goals” and “to cess or no computer autho- to “negative tweets [that] ruf- move beyond obscure results rization at work and some in fled feathers of bird lovers and of social media activities to- remote sites including Japan, conservationists’ nation-wide. wards more sophisticated and Guam, and San Diego, the But, because we were listen- more accurate assessments, Commanding officer has been ing, we were already prevent- leading to better informed using Facebook to communi- ing a crisis before it began.” In decision-making.” In one ques- cate the information he has as fact, they were able to escalate tion, we specifically adapted he receives it. This has been the issue to an administrator, their metrics - breadth, depth, very effective in reducing the get the situation resolved and direct engagement, loyalty, angst over lack of information.” then “saw a rapid decline in customer experience, cam- negative comments and an in- paigns and strategic outcomes 11. LEVERAGE THE TIME AND TAL- flux of positive ones.” - to learn the degree to which ENT OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY agencies have already been 13. IMPROVE PROJECT PLANNING measuring this kind of impact Rather than spending money AND RECORD KEEPING in their social media initiatives. to hire a photographer, one municipality opened a Flickr One survey respondent discov- At a rate of almost 2 to 1, the page and found that it “has ered that “Blogs are fantastic majority of organizations do been a great source of free, for planning projects, in that not track social media return high quality photos for us -- you can create an ongoing dia- on investment (ROI) with 46% when you join our group you logue about the process and of respondents reporting that agree to let us use your pic- then have a record of deci- they lack a formal process for tures in city marketing.” While sions made when the process reviewing and reporting on small savings, the cost of re- is complete.” An even better social media ROI. The main placing professional photog- example is found in the text reason that they did not track raphy with citizen-powered box on the following page. social media ROI, agencies told
  • 14. 14. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIASocial Media as a Contracting andReal-Time Project Tracking ToolIn a recent discussion forum on GovLoop, we asked, “Have any government social media activities led toreally obvious results?” Specifically, we asked for examples of “a strategic social media campaign that aimedat hitting a clear metric” or “achieved cost savings” and situations where there were “increased access toservices” or “decreased time to answer” by citizens. Below is one example that was shared in that forum: One of the best examples I have in my own experience was using Twitter in 2008 to post daily construc- tion updates for one of our sewer projects @golfview2008. I know it made a significant difference be- cause the project impacted resident access to a long cul de sac, so it was hugely disruptive. Normally on these types of projects we would field many regular calls from residents with questions about garbage and mail pickup, school bus pickup, access, schedule, etc. I don’t remember getting one call for this - we gave out one letter at the start of the project and referred people to the Twitter account. It was such a simple use of social media, and I sometimes think people are looking for some big, flashy use of social media with earth-shattering results. But the things that make a huge difference for what we do, at least in cities, are not usually the complex, sexy implementations. It’s things like the simple posting each day of what is going on for a sewer project that saves residents the time of having to call, particularly at inconvenient times, and staff the time of answering questions over the phone. A side benefit of that project is the time it saved on determining and agreeing to quantities with the contractor - another task that can be very time-consuming and frustrating. Because we posted each day what was installed, the contractor could keep up with what we had measured on a daily basis. He also told me at the end of the project how easy it was to confirm the quantities - he just went to the Twitter account and pulled the information from there. Going back today I can see how this archived documen- tation of construction could help cities and residents in the future to get dates for specific tasks that were completed. - Pam Broviak, City Engineer / Assistant Director of Public Works, City of Geneva, ILPam presents a perfect example as her comment demonstrates a number of clear results that her city wasable to achieve using social media: Blended traditional (letter) and new media (Twitter) communications Increased effectiveness in sharing key information with citizens Reduced burden on city staff due to lower call volumes Improved project management with contractors Demonstrated real-time, government transparency by publicly posting task completionWe also appreciate the simplicity of the deployment and the potential for replication on a variety of proj-ects. INTERACT: If you wish to share similar examples from your organization, please visit the forum now: http://www.govloop.com/forum/topics/have-any-government-social-media-activities-led-to-really-obvious
  • 15. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE15. ing some kind of social media If your organization does not track monitoring to ascertain ROI. social media metrics or impact, Among agencies that do en- gage in some kind of social why not? media tracking, most (79%) are still concerned with “Breadth - 41 3% 41.3% 39 7% 39.7% an increase in online commu- nity size / growth (i.e. number 20.6% 15.9% 14.3% of fans, followers, likes, shares, etc.)” The second most-used metric was Depth (64%) - which signifies that an individ- Takes too Tracking Informa- Manage- Other much time / tools are tion is not ment does ual has followed a link from a extra report- too expen- relevant / not see the social media site to access in- ing sive useful to our value organization formation on another agency website or targeted landing page (i.e. email sign-ups). The What tools do you use to measure third highest type of tracking cited by respondents was Di- rect Engagement (57%), or the results? Check all that apply. back and forth exchange of comments and conversation. 54.6% In terms of the tools used by 33.3% agencies, analytics software 23.2% 21.2% (55%) was the most commonly 15.2% 4% 3% cited tool for tracking. Some agencies reported using poll- Analytics Polling Engage- Comments Ranking Other Do not track ing software (23%) or message software software ment tools / Feedback sites with tools content analyzers (21%). Con- like this gruent with the fact that half of agencies are not tracking social media, one in three gov- ernment organizations said they did not track with these us, was that management did tools and training - but do not kinds of tools at all. not see the value (41%). Many have agency support to do so. survey participants essentially said, “we’d like to track, but we The good news is that 25% of Survey Summary still need to learn how to do it agencies are tracking social If we had stated a hypothesis effectively.” As a result, it’s not media ROI and another 24% in- at the outset of this survey, we that agencies do not want to dicate that such tracking is “In would have declared “social track the impact of social me- Development.” That combined media is largely a communica- dia - they are reporting that percentage of 49% indicates tions tool, but there are serious they see the value and would a promising trend towards pockets of impact on the mis- prefer to invest in both the the majority of agencies us- sion that are being monitored
  • 16. 16. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIADoes your organization have a formal processfor tracking social media roi specifically? 46% 24.8% 23.9% 12.4% If so, what do you track?Yes No In Develop- Other ment 78.7% 63.9% 57.4% 32.8% 24.6% 24.6% 21.3% 13.1% 24.8% Other Strategic Campaigns Customer Loyalty Direct Depth Breadth Outcomes Experience Engagementand leading to demonstrableimpact.” That prediction would “Gone are the days when you could tallynot be far off, but the obvious Facebook “likes” and Twitter “followers”fact is that social media is stillseen largely as another mode as measures of social media success.of distributing informationversus eliciting input for policymaking and program improve- Today, it’s not just about who you know, butment. With that backdrop inmind, the next section seeks to what you are saying to them and whether orshow those situations whereagencies have experimented not they are sharing it with others.”with social media and experi- - Excerpted from an article entitled, “Social Media and Citizenenced noteworthy results. Engagement” by the Alliance for Innovation http://transformgov.org/en/Article/102661/Social_Media_and_Citizen_En- gagement
  • 18. 18. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA Impact Stories of Mission Achievement What functional area in your organization uses social media?As the GovLoop survey revealed, social me-dia is largely a tool deployed by communica- Function %tions and public affairs departments. However, Communications / Public Affairs 80.7%the anecdotes in the previous section and the Emergency Management / Fire / Police 34.9%chart below reveal that other departments andgovernment functions are finding social media Parks and Recreation 25.7%to be valuable as well. Community Planning 22.9% Public Works 22.9%Of course, the most important impact that so-cial media can have on our nation is enabling Health and/or Human Services 21.1%more citizens to obtain better information Economic Development 19.3%and increased opportunities for involvementin their government. While many communica- Environmental Protection / Services 19.3%tions and public affairs departments are do- Transportation 17.4%ing a great job of incorporating social media Budgeting / Finance 11.0%into their educational campaigns and outreachactivities, we wanted to explore the ways in Acquisition / Contracting 8.3%which social media is being applied to these Property Management 3.7%other functions in government. This sectionhighlights eight examples where social media Other 16.5%is having a transformative effect on core func-tional areas:1 B U D G E TS / FINANCE 5 ENV IRONMENTA L STE WA RDSHIP2 COMMU NIT Y PL ANNING 6 HEA LTH C A RE3 C R I ME R E D UC TIO N 7 INTERNA L OP ERATIONS4 E ME R G E NC Y MANAG EMENT 8 PA RK S A ND RECREATION
  • 19. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE19. For each one, we identified they interact with the govern- future of their neighborhood. a problem, how social media ment they get a response. was part of the solution, and “What’s the Point?” invites the shared lessons learned and His department sees social public to express their vision outcomes to inform potential media now as an integrated for the community’s future replication. means of government commu- designed by the Engagement nication in addition to stan- Game Lab (engagement- dard press releases. For Nio- gamelab.org), a research and Budgets & let, social media is becoming development lab at Emerson Finance a standard form of outreach College. To play the game, to the public. Niolet considers players log into the website his role with the state similar and complete a series of timed Ben Niolet started his job as to his former job as a reporter “missions” which focus on dif- the state of North Carolina’s and blogger. He’s in the busi- ferent aspects of neighbor- Director of New Media in late ness of content creation and hood life, including living, 2010 and needed to broaden that’s something he sees as playing, doing business and the base of communications critical for the state to engage getting around. Participants and expand the state’s com- citizens on a more broad level earn virtual coins for each munication footprint. His state while still taking advantage of challenge they complete, and was facing a $2.5 billion defi- cost savings and transparency. can use these virtual coins to cit in the budget and citizen contribute real-world nonprof- engagement was a necessary it organizations in the commu- component to making a deci- Community nity. sion on how to best overcome Planning the budgetary shortcuts. “Engaging young people in the future of their neighborhood The state developed an inter- The City of Salem, Massachu- is critical to the success of the active game-like platform that setts, needed more public Point Neighborhood Visioning allowed residents to choose feedback and ideas into future Plan. We’re excited to launch different options for closing community planning projects. Community PlanIt after young the budget gap. The game The city saw that people had people in our community have was played over 40,000 times many different ideas for the had the opportunity to de- within the first two days that it future of their communities sign content within the game,” went live and helped to create but no way to share them in a said Mickey Northcutt, CEO of a dialogue about the budget socially collaborative way. City North Shore Community De- and tough decisions that must officials teamed up with the velopment Coalition. The proj- be made to balance a budget. North Shore Community De- ect brings both long-time and Niolet was clear to identify that velopment Coalition, the Met- newer residents together in success is not measured by the ropolitan Area Planning Coun- the planning process by utiliz- number of followers but rather cil and Emerson College to ing social media, smartphone, by the level of interaction from produce an online community and tablet technologies that the public. While the num- planning game, called “What’s will reach a wide array of citi- ber of followers on Twitter or the Point?”. The game lets com- zens. Facebook may look great, the munity members interact elec- greatest success comes from tronically with city officials to What the City of Salem and citizens knowing that when contribute ideas to shape the their partners were able to accomplish with the social
  • 20. 20. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA When North Carolina was facing a $2.5 billion budget deficit, the state developed an interactive game-like platform that allowed residents to choose different options for closing the budget gap. The City of Salem, MA and others teamed up to produce an online community planning game, called “What’s the Point?”. The game lets community members interact electronically with city officials to contribute ideas to shape the future of their neighborhood.game is a level of interaction People who needed the in-amongst citizens that other- Crime formation most were unlikelywise wouldn’t be possible. The Reduction from the area and were un-game is engaging, provides likely to watch the local news.officials with valuable input Due to the fact that standardfrom residents, and impacts The Virginia State Police (VSP) communication methodsthe real-life causes that users realized that they couldn’t through the traditional newschoose to support with their communicate with as wide cycles weren’t feasible, the de-virtual coins. The game creates an audience as needed to partment launched a YouTubea method for citizen engage- transmit vital information and page. They filmed press con-ment in a meaningful way that solve cold cases. In early 2009 ferences about the extremelycreates a pipeline of communi- with Inauguration day fast ap- complicated logistics sur-cations between citizens and proaching, essential informa- rounding President Obama’scommunity planners. tion about traffic and logistics first inauguration and within needed to be disseminated.
  • 21. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE21. the first week, the depart- information on major events marketing, increased reach, ment’s first video was viewed and investigations. and a type of engagement and thousands of times, prompt- interaction that wasn’t pos- ing the department to take a The success for VSP and their sible before. second look at their standard social media rollout was un- social media use policy. precedented. Between the first YouTube videos and the Face- Emergency Soon, they realized how social book page, they gained thou- Management media could impact their mis- sands of new followers / likes sion and began planning for a and were able to garner at- larger social media presence. A tention from the public. Their When an emergency occurs, Facebook page was launched biggest concern, as a member having proper communication in March 2010 to coincide with of law enforcement, is that in- channels is essential for first a well-known anniversary of formation is being skewed or responders to engage with an unsolved homicide. Mark- slanted. They found that social crisis managers. In the event ing the launch of their new so- media provides them with an of a crisis, situations such as cial media page with the anni- unfiltered outlet for instanta- power outages and flooding versary of a publically known neous news that does not have traditional means of commu- event helped the VSP generate to conform to a standard news nication become challenging. 24,000 fans nine months after cycle. The community uses the Emergency responders need the launch and led to several social media outlets for receiv- new ways to reach people new leads and attention to the ing accurate information when and find out what services are unsolved homicide case. The they need it, but also to reach needed. Three great examples department uses Twitter and out and thank VSP and indi- come from Johnson County, Facebook to cross-promote vidual officers for good work. KS, Moorhead, MN, and New different campaigns and fre- VSP’s use of social media has York City, which have used so- quently leverage the public for allowed for cost savings in cial media in innovative ways After hurricane Sandy rolled through the eastern United States, many were left without homes, communication and other necessary re- sources. Twitter and Facebook played an integral role in helping those in need, particularly in regions around New York City.
  • 22. 22. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIAto leverage emergency re-sponse. In Johnson County, Kansas,city officials used Facebook,Twitter, YouTube, blogs, andpodcasts to launch “The 5,000Prepared Citizens”. The am-bitious campaign strove tohave 1 percent of the popula-tion pledging to be preparedfor emergencies and disas-ters. Fans of the city’s Face-book page learned aboutFlood Awareness Week, howto prepare their business foremergencies, and how theycan participate in county-wide emergency preparationevents. The Facebook page soserved as a platform to link in-formational articles from the to visit a webpage for specific has given them a new look atRed Cross and even Sesame information, now everything how Twitter will be used in theStreet to promote outside ed- they need is provided right future. Facebook also playeducational interests for emer- in their Facebook and Twitter a large role in donations man-gency planning. feeds. agement. Locations where do- nations were being acceptedIn a similar example, flooding Consider the impact that started using social media toin the City of Moorhead, Min- Hurricane Sandy had on the make lists of items that werenesota, caused officials to in- northeast. After the storm had needed, making their dona-corporate Facebook and Twit- passed there was still a “black tions much more impactful toter into their flood emergency hole” of communications due the needs of the community.plan. The city created a web- to citizens not having the nor-page dedicated to flood infor- mal ways of gathering informa- The success of social mediamation where residents could tion. Volunteers used printed in emergency managementreceive flood status, watch fliers and bullhorns to spread is readily seen from these ex-videos of press conferences, messages but that still was not amples. In an emergency,and receive emergency con- enough. New York City Fire De- quick, accurate information istact information. Residents partment’s Social Media Man- what citizens need in a life oralso have the opportunity to ager Emily Rahimi monitored death situation and gettingsign up for Facebook and Twit- the Twitter account and kept information to them in a me-ter updates where they can re- citizens abreast of news and dium where many will see it isceive real time flood updates responded to those who re- why these communities tookand information, immediately quested help. Twitter was not to social media. Increased en-as it happens, something that originally intended to be used gagement and broader com-a website cannot provide. Tra- for communication during di- munication can save lives in anditionally, people would need sasters but Rahimi says that it emergency and can also help
  • 23. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE Texas highways had some of the nation’s highest levels of litter in the23. late 1980s when the Texas Highway Commission launched a public (non-social) media campaign entitled “Don’t Mess With Texas.” educate people in the event of sharing video ads with big Tex- future emergencies. as celebrities, and promoting Health initiatives that individual com- Care munities are taking in regards Environmental to clean up and Adopt-A- Highway programs. The Texas The need for centralized infor- Stewardship Department of Transportation mation about the flu, locations also runs a scholarship pro- for clinics, and general educa- Texas highways had some of gram for high school seniors tion prompted the U.S. Depart- the nation’s highest levels of that receives much attention ment of Health and Human litter in the late 1980s when on their social media sites and Services to design and man- the Texas Highway Commis- attracts residents to interact age a socially connected site, sion launched a public (non- with them. Flu.gov. The interactive site, social) media campaign en- which includes everything flu titled “Don’t Mess With Texas.” Since starting a Facebook page related, provides valuable in- Now, 25 years later with the they have gained over 15,000 formation ranging from symp- program still going strong and “likes” and ran numerous pro- toms and treatments to pan- lauded, the state is using social motions and giveaways. Their demic awareness. media to continue moving for- newly revamped Twitter pro- ward and spreading their mes- file is cross-promoting ad- There is a mapping widget that sage of environmental stew- vertisements, free stuff, and acts as a Flu Vaccine Finder so ardship of Texas highways. scholarship opportunities. The people can find the nearest flu program administrators have clinic to them. This widget can Administrators utilize Face- managed to take a very popu- be shared on other social me- book and Twitter to co-pro- lar anti-littering campaign and dia sites and blogs in English or mote what is happening with broaden their communication Spanish by others that advanc- the “Don’t Mess With Texas” base by engaging citizens in es the reach of information campaign. They run con- the social medium where they and invites people to become tests on their Facebook page are most susceptible to receive engaged in the discussion. The awarding sports tickets for an- information at a fraction of the site also boasts an integrated swering trivia questions and traditional cost. Twitter feed from the account spreading social media stories, @FluGov which promotes You-
  • 24. 24. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIATube videos about preventing IdeaFactory, an open innova- to day. The program takes fourthe spread of the virus, spe- tion platform, was the answer full time staff members goingcialized information for preg- to their challenges. The web- through ideas and process-nant women and the elderly, site is collaborative and trans- ing them in the system. Theyand general news and updates parent, and allows TSA employ- try not to filter out any of thefrom the HHS. ees to develop, promote, and dialogue (< 2%) because it is improve programs, processes, important for conversation toWhile measuring the efficacy and technologies by sharing emerge around an idea andof such a site and program is them with the entire TSA com- see how that it is working.difficult, the necessity of Flu. munity - without filter. Think ofgov is very apparent. The use- it as an employee suggestion By implementing an open in-fulness of the vaccine finder box of the 21st century. Once novation platform for employ-and specialized information an idea is posed, it is available ees, TSA officials have boostedabout caring for pregnant to everyone within the orga- morale of employees, receivedwomen or the elderly with flu nization where comments are meaningful input from theis needed by people in a me- made and a dialogue begins. workforce, and established adium they can access quickly. The two-way communication reliable way to share informa-When dealing with health is- with agency leadership, TSA tion. Ultimately, the platformsues, education is often the program offices, and employ- works to achieve a missionbest way to curb downsides. ees makes it extremely popu- critical objective of TSA, pro-Whether the information is on lar. When an idea or improve- viding a more secure travelone site, Flu.gov, or connected ment is implemented into the experience for the public duethrough HHS’ other social me- TSA procedures the employee to engaged and empowereddia platforms, healthcare can whose idea it was gets publi- employees.be enhanced through social cally recognized, receives amedia. nice certificate from the ad- ministrator, and a unique TSA Parks & Internal challenge coin. Recreation Operations Megan Kenny, the Acting Pro- gram Manager for the Office In the face of an economic of Training and Workforce at downturn, the city of Tyler,When the Transportation Se- the TSA, discussed the Idea- Texas, needed to innovate socurity Administration (TSA) Factory during an interview they could provide their citi-needed new ideas to improve on GovLoop’s DorobekINSID- zens with the same level ofthe agency, the administrators ER. She mentioned that in 5 service and knowledge aboutknew that the employees who ½ years of operation, IdeaF- city parks at a decreased cost.were on the front lines of the actory has been the starting The city operates over 1,000organization had the answer point for over 120 different acres of land within 25 cityand wanted to have them pro- ideas and has been visited by parks and wanted to attain avide insight for internal im- over 25,000 employees. What level of citizen engagementprovements. Servicing over the TSA leadership really likes and awareness while battling450 different airports and hav- about the IdeaFactory is that cuts in the budget.ing employees at headquar- they essentially get an unfil-ters proved an obstacle that tered database of opinions Assistant City Manager Su-could best be overcome by so- and experiences of employees san Guthrie elaborated oncial media. and what they go through day the ways that the City of Ty-
  • 25. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE25. ler raised interest in parks Tube video of the park they reation services through views and recreational activities by were standing in. By doing so, on their YouTube page, which using social media. The city citizens were able to jump di- was leveraged by using Twitter filmed YouTube video tours rectly to the information they and Facebook to act as adver- of the parks that showed the needed - a short YouTube vid- tisements for the parks. Their wide variety of amenities that eo - and take a virtual, guided utilization of social media to are offered -- from baseball tour. In order to advertise promote the parks and recre- league to disc golf courses to these new services and reach ational services was more cost bike trails and amphitheaters. the broadest base possible, effective than the traditional While these videos are impor- they used their much-liked means of advertising. Overall, tant for citizens to realize what Facebook page and Twitter they were able to implement was offered, the city also want- profile to act as free advertis- a way of communication that ed to show those who were al- ing for their efforts. would broaden their reach to ready utilizing the parks what citizens while becoming more they may have been missing. What the city found afterwards cost effective and efficient. QR codes were placed on signs aligned exactly with their throughout the parks. When goals for implementing social someone visited the park they media. They received a greater could scan the QR code, which reach and citizens’ knowledge would direct them to the You- about their city parks and rec-
  • 26. 26. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIAMaximum Mission Impact: IntegratingEmail and Social Media for OptimalOutcomesGOVDELIVERY IS THE #1 PROVIDER OF TOOLS THAT MAKE IT EASYfor the public sector to send mass communications through email, SMS and social media. Havingworked with hundreds of government organizations to implement integrated digital commu-nication tools, GovDelivery has a unique vantage point to see the potential for connecting andengaging with the public in more expansive and more valuable ways than ever before. That’s whywe interviewed GovDelivery’s Product Marketing Manager Jen Kaplan to gain her perspective onthe impact that social media is having on agency missions – and how it can be integrated into amore comprehensive approach to communications.How are agencies effectively integrating social media within a comprehensive digi-tal communications strategy?“We are seeing a lot of efficiency come from the consolidation of communication tools. There areso many tools out there, but having the ability to post to multiple platforms from one location iscritical. Facebook and Twitter are great spaces for government to engage with constituents, butemail is still citizen’s primary source of information. As a result, many organizations have adopteda COPE strategy: Create Once, Publish Everywhere.The City of Baltimore is a really good example. When the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl,the city had to put on a parade, which means public safety coordination and clean-up efforts.In order to reach the largest audience in Baltimore, the city sent out various press releases andparade information through email, mobile, Facebook and Twitter, all at the same time. The emailpress release had all of the details, but the message was modified to only include key elementsfor the other channels. Even though email is the largest audience, they reached the maximumnumber of people by hitting all channels. In addition, the city provided the ability for email sub-scribers or Facebook followers to share their message with their own networks, further increasingtheir reach and the impact of their message.”
  • 27. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE27. How does effective email integration extend social media’s impact? “The primary function of social media for government has been to engage the public. However, if you want to ensure your message is seen on social media, email is a necessary starting point to drive visibility. For instance, the problem with Facebook is that not everything a government organization posts will show up in their fans’ news feed because of the way the algorithm works. If you post on Facebook and it gets pushed down someone’s feed, an email a few hours later en- sures that the person saw your message. Likewise with Twitter, the information is streaming so quickly, if you blink, you miss it! By cou- pling Twitter with email, you can create a virtuous cycle. First, an agency can promote a Twitter chat by email to get people engaged on that platform, and then GovDelivery can consume an organization’s tweets, sending them out in a daily email format. If someone is not on Twitter or happened to miss the live chat, this approach gives people the content they want in multiple formats. One example is Kitsap County in the State of Washington, which uses GovDelivery’s Digital Com- munication Management (DCM) solution to increase subscribers to email and text message notifications. They appreciate the system’s integration with Facebook and other popular social media sites, such as YouTube and Twitter. By simultaneously posting to Facebook and other social networks, the County has been able to disseminate messages to citizens that may not otherwise receive information that is important to them. Kitsap County has discovered that the integration of email, text messaging and social media is even more valuable when they need to communi- cate urgent messages to citizens.” Where would you point people for additional resources? “GovDelivery has a digital communications best prac- tices guide that’s organized around 3 main principles: “The primary function of build your audience, communicate with them in an social media for govern- efficient or automated way through all channels, and then make sure you are engaging them to take ment has been to engage those online or offline actions that contribute to your mission. You can find it at http://bit.ly/GD_BestPrac- the public. However, if Guide. you want to ensure your HowTo.gov also has some baseline metrics specific to message is seen on social social media, along with a framework that the public sector can use to measure value and impact of social media, email is a neces- media. This is especially important when you look at how social media can impact an organization’s goals sary starting point to or mission. Measuring against these metrics or lever- aging that framework is key to helping organizations drive visibility. make data-driven decisions.”
  • 28. 28. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA Which communications channel reaches 2.2 billion users worldwide? Email. 81% of adults use the internet. 91% of those adults send or read email. Only 67% of those adults use a social networking site. Get your message read. Reach more people than you ever thought possible with proactive, multichannel digital communications. Support citizen and customer engagement initiatives. Drive real mission value for your organization. Find out how other government organizations are already doing this. Visit bit.ly/Gov-Success-Stories. of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. reachthepublic.com facebook.com/govdelivery @govdelivery youtube.com/govdelivery govloop.com© GovDelivery 2013
  • 30. 30. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA Implementation Steps to Strategic IntegrationAfter learning the concrete reality within agen- by creating opportunities for play, enlighten-cies and sharing several examples of bright ment, and inspiration...In a national dialoguespots where social media is having a serious about America’s Great Outdoors, citizens reit-impact on agency missions, the next step is to erated the importance of open spaces and rec-offer clear guidance regarding how to set up a reation to their quality of life, health, and com-system of monitoring and communicating im- mitment to conservation.pact. That’s the goal of this section - to providea framework for thinking through your organi- The agency’s supporting performance measurezation’s strategic use of social media. for this goal is “89% of visitors satisfied with the quality of their experience.” The next question1. Purpose DOI could ask is: How can social media lead to the achievement of this goal? Here are threeWhen exploring how social media fits into your ideas that come to mind almost immediatelyorganization’s core functions, start by review- (some of which the agency has implemented):ing your organization’s strategic plan. For in-stance, in a Google search on “federal agency Collect photos and videos from visitors andstrategic plan,” one of the first results leads to produce multimedia presentations thatthe Department of Interior’s (DOI) FY 2011- capture their experiences to increase loyal-2016 Strategic Plan. Consider DOI’s third goal: ty and promote future trips - post this con- tent on video and photo-sharing sites, or onGOAL #3: Provide Recreation and Visitor Expe- Facebook and Twitter, running contests forrience: We will endeavor to encourage the ap- most viewed or likedpreciation and use of our lands by facilitatingvisitor use and recreational experiences. We Educate the public about land use, invasivewill strive to provide visitors with beneficial species and other conservation issues viaphysical, mental, and social opportunities in- social tools - blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.cluding those that result from outdoor recre-ational experiences. Engage in an ongoing “national dialogue” about America’s Great Outdoors using so-STRATEGY #1: Enhance the enjoyment and ap- cial platforms, including crowdsourcingpreciation of our natural and cultural heritage tools, to inform policy and programs
  • 31. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE31. Every social media initiative should tie directly back to your The Social Media Mantra: agency’s mission and how the tool or platform may contrib- “MISSION, TOOLS, METRICS, TEACH” ute to the accomplishment of broader performance mea- Almost from the advent of social media’s use in the public sec- tor, Jeffrey Levy, a leading federal web manager from the Envi- sures. ronmental Protection Agency, has advocated that social media be grounded in the following phrase: “Mission, Tools, Metrics, Teach.” 2. People Here’s how Levy describes it: There are two ways that an “I was trying to come up with something punchy because people were regularly asking for help creating social media strategy for agency needs to think about their agencies. I particularly wanted something that would be people: internally and exter- easy to remember and help me emphasize, esp. to managers, that nally. Internally, an organi- it’s not about being cool: it’s about meeting the agency’s mission.” zation needs to ask what re- sources are available to handle To read his original blog post that explains each of the “Four Laws of Levy,” please visit: social media activities. Most of the time, it’s communica- http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/social-media-strategy-in-a tions and public affairs staff, but there are models in which front line staff and scientists have been asked to participate spective area of expertise. These when phone calls or emails were in direct engagement with the aren’t just Public Affairs people the only way to get help or learn public. Consider how the U.S. — they’re a mix of scientists, more. Technologies and services Geological Survey used Face- outreach folks, developers, cus- like SMS, social media, social book in a unique way: tomer service staff, and more. networking, smartphones, etc., They cover many areas of USGS are quickly becoming (if they In November 2010, USGS an- science and activities, though haven’t already become) the nounced a new pilot program not all areas of our work will standard for communication. If called USGS Ambassadors. The have a direct Ambassador. government wishes to become idea behind this effort is to have open and engaged, then gov- a group of employees who will We hope this approach to using ernment needs to look for ways help, educate, and share with Facebook is one that will prove to enable communication. the public on information re- successful for us and useful lated to these Ambassadors’ re- for citizens. Gone are the days Fast forward more than two years and USGS has continued the Ambassador Program. The WHEN IT COMES TO STAFFING SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU HAVE MANY agency has even started to include its customer service RESOURCES YOU CAN LEVERAGE: staff in the agency’s approach to Twitter - especially on high StafF VolunteerS Consultants volume days when there is Senior Leaders Constituents PR Firms substantial seismic activity. Communications Team Students Media Companies The question you might ask Staff / Experts Experts at this stage is: whom beyond Interns Business Leaders Commenters the communications team can communicate effectively with
  • 32. 32. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA “W e’ve gotten particularly IF YOU NEED TO TRAIN YOUR STAFF, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT noticeable response THESE TWO VALUABLE RESOURCES: (likes and comments) http://www.howto.gov/social-media from posts on Facebook with pho- http://www.govloop.com/social-media tos of animals. We’ve also seen a Both HowTo.gov / Digital Gov University and GovLoop regularly host rise in comments since we started online and in-person training and produce resources like this guide, de- posting in evenings and on week- signed to help you and others in your agency to learn the ins and outs of important issues surrounding social media. ends. Our blogs are written by per- sonnel from across our park agency,citizens and how can you dep- tunity for engagement is likely giving us a wide range of styles andutize them to engage with citi- true for every organizationzens on social media? that is willing to spend some voices. They go through a central time segmenting the core con- editing point to keep us on mes-Externally, the key is identify- stituents that can be reacheding the appropriate constitu- most effectively through social sage consistently, but in editingents. As evidenced throughout media.this report, there are multiple we try not to change the voice orstakeholders that might be- One of the values of social style of the writer, and the authorcome engaged with your or- media is that you can identifyganization through social individuals outside of the tra- always sees the final copy before itmedia. A blanket approach to ditional public affairs roles toconnecting with these diverse make a contribution to pub- is posted. Views of the blogs tookstakeholders rarely yields op- lic information exchange in a a large jump in growth about onetimal results. Be as granular as community-based way.possible when thinking about year after we started the program,your external outreach. 3. Plan and they continue to rise as timeReturning to the Department Again, it’s worth taking anoth- passes as people find them throughof Interior’s strategic plan, er look at DOI’s Bureau of Landthey likely need to consider Management (BLM), which put search engines.”the differing demographics of together a New Media Plan invisitors at the respective Na- February 2012. The plan iden- -GovLoop Survey Respondenttional Parks. With 400 places tifies several clear goals for theand 275 million visitors each agency:year, the National Park Servicehas a massive audience that is GOAL 1: Become a more GOAL 3: Recruit a diverseprimed for engagement. With a transparent government and talented workforcebit of forethought, the oppor- agencytunity for a sustained relation- GOAL 4: Continue to be aship with these stakeholders GOAL 2: Raise awareness leading Department of In-before, during and after their of the Bureau of Land Man- terior agency in the use ofvisit is immense. This oppor- agement’s mission and ac- external new media tivities
  • 33. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE33. The plan also clearly states striving to do more than push boosted the economy by more “BLM’s external new media information to the public and than $122 billion. Social media portfolio is managed by the evolving based on their direct is an effective vehicle for com- BLM’s New Media Lead in the engagement: municating this broad range of Office of Assistant Director for responsibility and activity. Communications.” Moreover, “The BLM communications staff the plan delineates that this will constantly evaluate interac- This is precisely how agencies individual “coordinates with tions, comments, and views of should be thinking about so- DOI’s New Media Office and content posted on social media cial media’s connection - see- provides high-level input into sites to refine content. The BLM ing it in light of its potential DOI’s new media policy, devel- will post content that moves economic and resource im- ops policy for the BLM’s new its message while encouraging pact. How are you doing the media program, and provides members of the public to con- same in your agency? the tools and framework under sume content and share content which the Bureau’s new media with others.” 4. Produce program operates.” Finally, BLM links their social Once an organization has a In addition to assigning roles, media activity back to their clear plan in place, the next the plan defines the type of core mission - even citing facet of effectively leveraging new media that the organiza- specific numbers and dollar social media is to create valu- tion is using, from media shar- amounts: able content. One way to frame ing to blogging to data and your thinking about content is document sharing to widgets In FY 2010, the activities on to ask the following questions: and video streaming. They also BLM-managed lands supported acknowledge that they are more than 550,000 jobs and What content will you share? What do you already have? What can you reproduce or re- purpose from related organi- Sample Social Media Plans and PolicieS zations? If you are looking for similar plans and policies, please see the fol- Newsletters? lowing resources: Interviews? Publications http://www.howto.gov/social-media/using-social-media-in-government Videos? Photos? http://govsocmed.pbworks.com/w/page/15060450/Web%202%200%20 Audio Content? Governance%20Policies%20and%20Best%20Practices Public Service Announce- http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/list-of-federal-social-media-pol- ments? icies-amp-regulations Customer Stories? Press Releases? https://data.govloop.com/dataset/Web-2-0-Governance-Policies-And- Resources and Tools? Best-Practices-Ref/b47r-pgph Statistics / Data? Feedback Cards? If you have other policies to add to that list, please send them to andrew@govloop.com More importantly, look at that list above and ask: what con- tent can you elicit from your
  • 34. Archive Your Activity GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA 34. and Register Yourconstituents? Some of the ly inspire conversation as it ResourceSmore traditional information pertains to your niche.that you typically share can Most web managers know thatbe transformed into great web Once you know the “what”, you they need to archive their con-content that sparks conversa- can them move to the “how” of tent, but the guidance on socialtion or encourages dialogue connecting constituents and media is a bit fuzzier. The Nation-and feedback. stakeholders to your content. al Archives and Records Adminis- tration (NARA) gives the follow-In addition to thinking stra- 5. Promote / Participate ing guidance on this issue:tegically about the type ofcontent, you will also want to There are likely many ways Agencies must decide how theykeep in mind some of the tacti- that you will begin your en- will manage records created incal ways in which social media gagement with the public. Be- these environments in accor-performs most effectively: low are just a few: dance with36 CFR 1220 and 44 U.S.C. Chaps. 31 & 33. Agency re- Variety: cords officers, web management Diversify your TRADITIONAL staff, and information technology content to keep it fresh for Advertisements staff, working with NARA apprais- visitors. Website al archivists, should address the Newsletters records management challenges Short: Most people are by evaluating appropriate uses of reading on the run or on a Press Release schedules and tools. phone. Brief is best. In-peron Events In addition, the General Services Images: Photos gain the SOCIAL MEDIA Administration has created a So- most attention. Incorporate cial Media Registry that “identi- them frequently. Facebook fies social media accounts man- Google+ aged by the federal government, Action: Urge visitors to do GovLoop to help the public know which ac- something. People like to LinkedIn counts they can trust to provide click. Make content inviting factual government information. YouTube and interactive. If you work for the U.S. federal Pinterest government and have a .gov or Milestones: Anniversaries Instagram .mil email address, use this tool of events are a good time Twitter to register social media accounts to get people talking about managed by federal agencies (in- their memories - most peo- cluding accounts for elected offi- ple have an experience that MOBILE cials, heads of agencies or Cabi- they want to share when Apps net members).” it comes to the historic or Mobile Site momentous. For more information on both of Text Messaging (SMS) these resources, please visit: Topics du Jour: Similar to The best-laid plans include http://www.archives. milestones, if you can find some integration of these gov/records-mgmt/bulle- a way to link your activities modes of communication. Per- tins/2011/2011-02.html to the headlines, you’ll like- haps you are launching a new http://www.howto.gov/social- media/social-media-registry/ register-accounts
  • 35. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE35. public information campaign who return regularly by Finally, you might want to con- on your main website and featuring their content or sider scheduling and monitor- need to replicate the content responses. ing tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, across social media platforms. Tweetdeck and Crowdbooster You will create the web con- Humanize your organiza- that can help you line up posts tent as you always do, run it tion: Use the real names in advance - especially if you through the editing process of agency representatives are trying to time information and post it. With social media, when possible; use a more with an important announce- there are a couple added ques- colloquial tone in your ment or campaign launch, or tions you should ask: posts (note: this includes simply want to be sure that in- plain language!). formation is presented several How do you break down times a day. Of course, these the content into bite size Use humor, as appropri- tools should never be a replace- chunks? ate: Of course, we know ment for real-time interaction, some government content so we would recommend that How do you present it in isn’t appropriate for hu- you monitor your social media such a way that it invites mor, but even the Nation- sites (more on that below) and conversation? al Weather Service tried pick a time of day when your to keep their information constituents are most active How do you make it easy sharing somewhat fun with and spend time engaging in for people to share it with an approaching “Franken- dialogue with them - that is, if others? storm.” you do not have the resources to do so in real-time. What will be the primary source where people can obtain comprehensive in- formation and where you are mostly driving traffic? GIVE CAREFUL THOUGHT AND PLANNING TO WHEN AND HOW OFTEN YOU WILL POST. FOR INSTANCE, HAVE YOU CONSIDERED A few other keys to successful THE BEST DAYS, TIMES, DATES AND FREQUENCY FOR POSTING? social media engagement in- clude: Set short deadlines for Day of Week Target Dates calls to action: Add a sense Weekdays? Events? of urgency to your posts by Weekends? Milestones? including a short window of time to respond, espe- Wednesdays? Schedule? cially if you are running a campaign or leading up to an event. Time of Day Frequency AM or PM? Real-Time? Foster a sense of commu- 8a or 10a? Hourly? nity: Respond to people by 3p or 9p? Daily? name and encourage them to bring others to the con- Weekly? versation; reward people
  • 36. 36. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA Example: GovLoop’s Social Media Calendar If you are strapped for resources, taking into Nailing down those times can pinpoint the account your optimal times for posting amount of time that staff will spend with social will yield the most efficient results. As you media - especially when handling this mode of determine the appropriate timing, you might communication is a collateral duty or when you end up with a schedule that looks something are including other staff in the process of en- like the chart below: gagement. Having a clear schedule also makes it clear just how much time you are investing in social media and allows you to better track ROI.What: Daily Daily Daily Daily Daily DailyWhen: 8a, 12p, 4p and Ad Hoc 8a, 12p, 4p and Ad Hoc 8a, 12 and Ad Hoc 8a, 12p and Ad Hoc Continuous Schedule Campaigns Best = F Best = T, W Best = M Best = T, W Best = NA Best = TWho: Comms Staff and SMEs Comms Staff Comms Staff Comms Staff Comms Staff and SMEs Rotate Key StaffWhat: Fun, Pics, Quotes, Posts Core Content Discussions, Core Content Core Content Discussions, Core Content Core Content, Promos Brand Loyalty,Why: Engagement, Share Content Engagement, Share Content Engagement, Share Content SEO, Share Content Engagement, Share Content Main Driver of Traffic
  • 37. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE37. 6. Progress Top Referral Sources termine how the numbers roll Sign-Ups up to the metrics that your As our survey discovered, Revenue Earned organization has established about 1 out of 4 agencies are Time or Money Saved for overall mission accom- monitoring their social media plishment. It’s also important to remember that reporting is activities and tracking against Qualitative clear metrics. Another 1 in 4 not just a passive listening tool Concrete Impact are in the process of imple- with interesting, but serves as Behavior Change active documentation of con- menting some kind of social Actions Taken stituent behavior that should media monitoring or tracking. When it comes to mapping Valuable Feedback lead to real-time changes in your progress, you will want to Problems Uncovered / your approach. Finally, don’t ask: Fixed just track output (number of posts, tweets, etc.), but real The key is to focus on action- outcomes that are the direct How are we able information - not just on result of your social media ac- mapping to and data for data’s sake, but de- tivity. tracking against core agency performance Aiming High: The Air Force Approach to measures? Social MediA In the case of the Department In what may be the quintessential social media guide, the U.S. of Interior that we cited above, Air Force explains almost every imaginable facet of social me- dia usage by both Air Force personnel and airmen. In particular, social media could contribute they offered the following guidance regarding a schedule for to their achievement of an posting social media content: 89% satisfaction score among their constituents. They just Have a posting schedule. Consider your resources, the need to decide how they will amount of content available and workload, but also think establish that feedback loop, about your audiences. Consider peak engagement times potentially collecting anec- and frequency when building your schedule. For instance, dotal and objective evidence - if the majority of your audience is at work or school all day, including both stories and sta- you could post during lunchtime, in the evening and on tistics - through a social media the weekend. monitoring plan. Establish an editorial calendar to manage posts, plan for the future and reach goals. Some days there will be an Below are a few different abundance of content to share, while at other times there metrics and meaningful data won’t be as much. Prioritize content and be prepared to points you might collect: switch gears when big events or crises occur. Quantitative We would encourage you to view the full guide here: Opens / Clicks http://www.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-120327-048.pdf Views / Visits Likes / Shares / RTs
  • 38. 38. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIAOf course, the key to a social How Often Are You Engagement Vehiclesmedia plan - and knowing Monitoring? Monitoring Systemswhether you are making prog- Real-Timeress against it - is to establish As with any experiment, the Dailyand measure both long- and key is to examine every facet Weeklyshort-term outcomes. Some of the process and ask, “What Monthlyagencies are already using happened?” as well as “How cantools to support tracking and we do more of what worked Lastly, your goal should be tomonitoring. Again, it’s criti- and less of what didn’t?” seek constant improvementcal to have a process in place. and achievement of efficiencyThe questions below might 7. Policy in the overall process. The besthelp you think about the best way to do so is by asking thatrhythm for your agency: The following statement, as simple question: shared by one of our surveyHow Are You Monitoring? respondents, is not where you Google Analytics Where Can You Improve? want to be in your agency: Mission Focus Google Alerts Project Scope Facebook Insights “We still use social media as a More / Better Outcomes ‘push out’ of information and Bit.ly Stakeholder Engagement do so mostly because we think it Hootsuite Engagement Points is the ‘thing to do’, not because Radian 6 Plan: Know your outcomes, name the content, establish the key dates / times Iterate: Make the necessary adjustments Test: Set a period of time when and test again you will execute and monitor. Learn: Review the metrics and outcomes. What happened? What do you need to do more, change or stop? What needs to happen with available resources?
  • 39. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE 39. we are really engaging the pub-Terms of Service: Tools You Can UsE lic in conversation. There is noYou might be wondering which of these tools are actually okay to use. social media policy and no realAfter all, you are tracking official government engagement and want to understanding of those doingbe sure that you are compliant with records management, privacy and social media what the impactvarious other regulations. The General Services Administration has ne- could and should be. With nogotiated Terms of Service (TOS) with several vendors. These TOS agree- policy and staff responsible forments “are special agreements negotiated between the federal govern- social media that have little toment and vendors who offer free social media tools” that “modify or no authority to speak on behalfremove problematic clauses in standard TOS agreements, and allow of their agency or the state, thefederal employees to legally use these tools.” social media is used to show ribbon cuttings and announceWe would encourage you to learn more at the following link: events or repost news releases http://www.howto.gov/web-content/resources/tools/terms-of-ser- etc. We have a long way to go vice-agreements before we are utilizing the pos- sible benefits of social media - fear and lack of understanding of the people in charge are the biggest factors holding back a more effective use of social me- dia.” Again, if you are looking for an alternative approach, we can return to the Bureau of Land Management as they include an exemplary Social Media Policy in their New Media Plan that might serve as a template for your agency. You can read an excerpt of their policy to the right.
  • 40. 40. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIAOfficial Use of Social Media atDepartment of the interior (DOI)Excerpt from Bureau of Land Management’s Social Media PolicyDOI encourages its bureaus to use social me- records notice (SORN) approved by the Depart-dia tools to communicate their missions and ment of the Interior. In order for a new socialmessages with the public when there is a le- media account to be covered under a DOI TOSgitimate business case to do so. Bureaus are agreement, it must be approved by the bureauencouraged to carefully weigh their options point of contact in Appendix A and reported towhen deciding whether to use social media. the Department Office of Communications.The DOI Social Media Handbook provides guid-ance on specific types of social media tools and Any social networking profiles or social mediaservices. presences that have not been approved via your bureau’s point of contact may be termi-Before beginning any social media project, em- nated.ployees must first be granted approval to usesocial media, social networking, or other Web Bureaus will periodically report on all social2.0 services or tools to directly support or en- media presences to the DOI Office of Commu-hance activities being undertaken in an official nications and Office of the Chief InformationDepartment of the Officer. DOI will keep a running list of all offi-Interior capacity. Contact persons for each Bu- cial presences on third-party social media Webreau and office are listed in Appendix A. Each sites so the public may know which communi-bureau and office will maintain a catalog of cations channels are DOI approved. Only ap-all official social media presences; this catalog proved social media presences will be includedwill be periodically reported to the DOI Office on this list.of Communications and Office of the Chief In-formation Officer. The use of social media services is further de- pendent on those services that have approvedThe need for this approval is threefold: (1) DOI TOS agreements. If there are third-partyThere may already be bureau- or Department- services that a bureau has identified as appro-level social media efforts that accomplish the priate for use, the bureau office of communi-same or similar goals. It is necessary for the cations or public affairs officer should contactbureaus and the Department to keep track of the DOI Office of Communications for reviewsocial media efforts to ensure there is no un- of the TOS and confirm PIA and SORN compli-due overlap or duplication. (2) Bureau-level co- ance.ordination and participation helps ensure thatinformation is, when appropriate, delivered to To see the full policy in context, please visit:our constituents and the public in the contextof unified themes or messages. (3) A social me- http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/Com-dia account must be covered under a special munications_Directorate/public_affairs/socialmedia.terms of service agreement (TOS), privacy im- Par.83084.File.tmp/ExternalNewMediaStrategy.pdfpact assessment (PIA) and possibly a system of
  • 41. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE41. Final Thoughts & Acknowledgements The GovLoop team is thankful to all of those who • Bryce Bender, GovLoop Graduate Fellow contributed to the development of this report. • Jeff Ribeira, GovLoop Senior Interactive De- We thank everyone for their participation in our signer survey, active community engagement, input and • Carrie Moeger, GovLoop Design Fellow knowledge shared while developing this guide. This guide would not have been completed with- For more information on this report, please con- out your assistance and knowledge sharing: tact Andrew Krzmarzick, at andrew@govloop.com • Andrew Krzmarzick, GovLoop Director of Community Engagement • Steve Ressler, GovLoop Founder and President GOVLOOP RESOURCES ON GOVLOOP... GovLoop’s Communications Center: http://www.govloop.com/communications GovLoop’s Social Media Center: http://www.govloop.com/social-media 12 Commandments for Federal Employees on Twitter: http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/new-twitter-guides-for-government-agencies-and-employees 15 Commandments for Government Agencies on Twitter: http://www.govloop.com/page/15-commandments-for-government-agencies-on-twitter State of Government Communications Report: http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/annoucing-govloop-state-of-government-communications-report Navigating the Digital Road Map: http://www.govloop.com/techgovguide
  • 42. 42. GOVERNMENTSOCIALMEDIA5 Emerging Trends of Social Media in the Public Sector:http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/5-emerging-trends-of-social-media-in-the-public-sectorLet’s Give Them Something to Talk About: Role of Social Media Going Forward:http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/let-s-give-them-something-to-talk-about-role-of-social-media-goinInfographic: Local Gov2.0 - How Councils Can Use Social Media:http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/inforgraphic-local-gov2-0-how-councils-can-use-social-mediaInfographic: Blueprint for Perfect Facebook Post:http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/blueprint-for-perfect-facebook-postSet Your New Social Media Manager Up for Success:http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/set-your-new-social-media-manager-up-for-success#Sandy - Did the 20 Million Plus Tweets Help or Hurt Emergency Managers?http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/sandy-did-the-20-million-plus-tweets-help-or-hurt-emergency-managSocial Media and Gov - Are We Still in Love?http://www.govloop.com/forum/topics/happy-5th-anniversary-social-media-in-government-are-we-still-in-Video Use in Gov: NASA Debunks End of World, Creates Gangnam Style Parody:http://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/video-use-in-gov-nasa-debunks-end-of-world-creates-gangnam-style-What’s Your Preferred Tool for Managing Social Media Activity?http://www.govloop.com/forum/topics/what-s-your-preferred-tool-for-managing-your-social-media...AND BEYOND:HowTo.gov Social Media Resources:http://www.howto.gov/social-mediaFederal Social Media Community of Practice:http://www.howto.gov/communities/federal-web-managers-council/social-mediaGovTwit:http://www.govtwit.comFederal Social Media Leaderboard:http://govtwit.com/leaderboardSocial Media in the Public Sector Field Guide:http://www.amazon.com/Social-Media-Public-Sector-Field/dp/1118109937Local Government Use of Social Media to Prepare for Emergencies:http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/documents/kn/Document/301647/Local_Government_Use_of_Social_Me-dia_to_Prepare__for_EmergenciesThe Rise of Social Government Report:http://2012naspaaconference.wikispaces.com/file/view/Social_Media_2_Promising_Practices_FINAL_web_version.pdf
  • 43. THEGOVLOOPGUIDE43. 734 15th St NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 Phone: (202) 407-7421 Fax: (202) 407-7501