Social Media in the Federal Community: Perceptions and Usage Among Government Agencies and their Suppliers
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Social Media in the Federal Community: Perceptions and Usage Among Government Agencies and their Suppliers

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Presentation of findings from Federal Community Social Media Study by Market Connections, Inc. Market Connections is a leading government market research firm, specializing in sharing insights that ...

Presentation of findings from Federal Community Social Media Study by Market Connections, Inc. Market Connections is a leading government market research firm, specializing in sharing insights that help organizations make informed, intelligent decisions that drive significant and measurable business improvements.

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  • What can contractorsdo: - Think about these issues when using SM to engage with agenciesTwo that I would call our here are: - The influential champion. I would argue that there isn’t a more influential champion than the president, and the administrations ongoing focus on encouraging adoption of the tools is a key driver of the escalating usage rates we are observing. - Clear security protocols and a strong business case were also frequently mentioned, with one respondent summing up their concerns by saying, “we need a better understanding of how social media will accomplish more effective communication on key issues at critical times.”There were also some who said there was nothing that would lead their agencies to use social media, arguing that there wasn’t a clear business case for how the tools would help their organization achieve its mission, and because the security risks far outweighed any potential benefits.We look forward to hearing from our panelists how they are addressing these issues
  • Non-government-specific social networks are the most popular social media sites, followed by Wikis and content aggregators.Wikis are used for research, information gathering/sharing, and collaborationA fundamentally new way to aggregating information that moves away from 3 in binders printed in triplicate that need to be updated almost as soon as they are put of the shelf.Notably, government-specific social networks are only used by 14% of federal employees.The important point here is that the agencies are using a variety of tools, and are adapting the tools they use based on their unique objectives.
  • Looking ahead to the next 12 months, agency employees indicated their agencies were most likely to adopt Podcasts, Wikis and agency blogs. However, worth also noting that the projected adoption of other tools was also quite uniform.Again – the takeaway here is that no one tool fits all, and we have to find the tools that best meet our organization’s requirements.
  • Security is the single biggest challenge to implementing a social media strategy, with nearly three-quarters citing as their top concern. And interstingly, in the administration’s guidelines for social media usage, they place as much emphasis on the user-based risks as they do on technology-based risks, noting that “users are always the weakest link in an information system.” The concern being that inexperienced or untrained users will inavertently divulge sensitive information through a social network.Internal governance concerns, such as compliance with information archiving regulations, and (62%) and privacy concerns (61%) are also a challenge for 6 in 10 respondents.
  • Other than the top 3 challenges, agencies rated the second tier of challenges quite uniformly. They ranged from: - aligning social media strategy to the agency’s objectives, - lack of resources of maintain a social media presence - Inability to control the message once personnel begin using the tools - to cultural issues within the organization
  • So, that’s a brief overview of the federal employee component of the survey. There’ is more content in the full report, but we wanted to share some of the most important takeways.I’ll now pivot into the government contractor survey, in which we found some interesting differences to the government employees.
  • Looking at personal use of social media - 40% use social media more at home than at work, but just over one uarter use equally at the office and at home. Only 13% of contractors do not use social media compared to 35% of federal employees.
  • The tools are primarily being used to drive customer engagement in streamline communication with customers, as well as to support marketing campaigns.We’re also seeing the tools increasingly used for recruitment. In fact, we had an event last week where the director of Vangent’s social media strategy was speaking, and she mentioned that their head of HR, who had initially been one of the executives most opposed to adopting social media, was so impressed by how effectively he was able to find the right candidates using twitter and linkedIn that he was now one of the biggest evangelists of social media in the company. He event went so far as to say that social media would put recruiters out of business.I thought that anecdote illustrated how these tools, when applied effectively, can significantly improve or streamline core organization functions.
  • In many organizations, the social media budget and resources are lumped into the overall IT budget, web budget, or marketing spend. Only 22% have a dedicated social media budgetHowever, more than half (61%) of those plan to increase their it in the next 12 – 18 months, and on average, they plan to increase their marketing budgets by 30%.I think this is in recognition that the tools may be free, but deploying them successfully and effectively is not. The better you get at is, the more you integrate them into your operatoins, the more they cost in either time or money to sustain.
  • Wikis are the most widely used tool because of how they simplify the collaboration process within the organization. Looking at non-government specific social media sites, it’s worth noting that linked has now surpassed Facebook as the most widely used site among agencies. 36% said they used LinkedIn wile 26% said they use Facebook. Given the business-specific focus of LinkedIn, and the significant growth the site has seen in the past year – it’s now up to 70 million users, with over 1 million companies represented, it offers a much more targeted way to reach this community than Facebook.Worth also noting that that one fifth are currently using GovLoop, and another 15% plan to join the site in the next 12 months.
  • Nearly 90% cited buildingthe company’s brand as an important benefit of social media.And if anyone questions how effective it can be, I’d encourage you to look at organizations like NASA, and Old Spice which have been wildly successful in reengaging with the public at a time when both their stock was in decline among their target audiences. Reaching new audiences and increasing customer interaction with the company were also top tier benefits for 8 in ten respondents.However, increasing customer interaction and reaching new markets, were also very important to half (47%) of those surveyed.
  • When asked what their biggest challenges to social media implementation were, it wasinteresting to note that contractors were primarily concerned with measuring ROIand developing metrics to track the performance of the tools.Insufficient resources to maintain an social media presence, and identifying which channels to invest in were also perceived as challenges, but I was struck by the finding that security concerns, which were the single highest concern for federal employees, was a much lower concern for contractors.Part of this may be cultural – with contractor having a higher risk tolerance than agencies, but it’s something to be aware of when using these tools to engage with federal employees. It’s also worth understanding what the biggest challenges and concerns are within your own organization and addressing them clearly as you develop your own social media plan. Doing so should help significantly lower the resistance to adoption when making the business case to use the tools.
  • That was a quick overview of the contractor section of the study.I’ll now close with one of the eight agency profiles we developed illustrating some of the innovative ways in which federal agencies are using these tools.We selected the CDC, but it was one of any number of agencies we could have picked. I would, for example, encourage you to look at some of really interesting approaches the EPA has taken to using social media to engage the public a very multi faceted social media strategy spanning facebook, youtube, twitter, google earth, and flickr.
  • Google flu trends – a partnership that developed when the CDC discovered that by tracking google searches for flu symptoms, they were better able to predict where a flu outbreak would occur that via any other method they had, including though their network of doctors and clinics nationwide.
  • They host bloginars – which are basically interactive webinars where the public can interact with agency experts, where they share informaito about public health events and medical outbreaks. They have built a massive Public Health Image library which shows everything from viruses under microscope, to pictures of how to correctly check a pulse.They even host podcasts that can be played on the site, or download to a portable media player.Top photo: public health image libraryBottom photo: podcast page
  • The CDC maintains a numbr of Twitter handles focused on specific areas - the most popular is CDC emergency, which is where emegency updates are posted. It currently has over 1million followers. - it also has one dedicated to the flu and to general health.
  • The CDC’s Daily Health Information Facebook page has amassed 55,000 followers, but perhaps even more impressive is that the 98 videos the agency has posted on its YouTube channel have been viewed more than three and a half million times.Perhaps not quite Lady Gaga’s numbers, but a very clear indication that there’s a very engaged audience out there, and these tools give the agency an entirely new way to reach them.
  • So, we’ve covered a lot of ground, and gone through the data very very quickly. But I’d like to close with my key takeaways from this research as well as from the conversations I’ve been having over the past few month.It’s no longer a question of “if”, but “when” and “how”Share your vision with the organization. Make a case for why it’s important.The tools may be free, but using the successfully is not. Budget your resources accordingly.Don’t be afraid to try something new. Not everything you try will work. No one gets it right the first time. But the lessons about your organization and its audience can be invaluable.Learn from others. And share what works for you. Look for insights in the way the tools are being used. Social media can be a wellspring of innovationNot all employees know how to use the tools - train and set usage guidelines. Remember: “Users are always the weakest link in an information system”Create realistic metrics that align with your organization’s objectives.

Social Media in the Federal Community: Perceptions and Usage Among Government Agencies and their Suppliers Social Media in the Federal Community: Perceptions and Usage Among Government Agencies and their Suppliers Presentation Transcript

  • Social Media in the Federal Community
    July 27, 2010
  • Follow the Eventon Twitter
    Follow Market Connections @mkt_connections
    Event Hashtag#MCSocial
    2
  • Agenda
    • Introduction – Lisa Dezzutti, President & CEO
    • Presentation of survey findings – John Kagia, Research Manager
    • Panel Discussion – moderated by Lisa Dezzutti
    Michael Donovan – Chief Technologist, Strategic Capabilities, HP Enterprise Services
    Bev Godwin – Director, Center for New Media and Citizen Engagement, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, GSA
    Doug Mashkuri – Director of Business Development, GovLoopand President and Founder, Mash Digital Strategies LLC.
    • Q&A
    3
  • Objectives
    • Determine the use of social media tools among the federal employee and government contractor communities.
    • Establish the nature of the organizations’ policies regarding the use of social media by employees.
    • Identify the types of tools used and how they are used.
    • Determine which departments and personnel are responsible for managing contractor’s social media activities.
    • Assess the changes in investments in social media and anticipated adoption rates.
    4
  • Participant Profile: Overview
    Contractors
    (n=167)
    Federal Employees
    (n=321)
    Businesses Sectors Represented:
    28% Professional services
    13% Manufacturers
    13% System integrators
    12% Defense/ Aerospace
    Agency Type:
    41% Defense
    47% Civilian
    12% Judicial/ Legislature
    Participant Job Function:
    17% Executive management
    15% Program management
    6% Accounting
    6% IT and Telecommunications
    6% Procurement
    Company Size:
    50% < 500 employees
    32% 5,000+ employees
    Participant Title/ Role:
    42% Senior executives
    26% Marketing, Advertising, PR
    Age:
    40% 55+ years old
    34% 45 – 54 years old
    26% < 45 years old
    Age:
    25% 55+ years old
    35% 45 – 54 years old
    40% < 45 years old
    Source: 2010 Government Contractor Social Media Survey
    5
  • 6
    Federal GovernmentEmployees:
    Current Social MediaUsage and Practices
  • Personal Social Media Use
    Source: 2010 Federal Government Employee Social Media Survey
    7
  • Agency Social Media Use
    8
    Source: 2010 Federal Government Employee Social Media Survey
  • Agency Social Media Use
    Source: 2010 Federal Government Employee Social Media Survey
    9
  • What Will it Take for Agenciesto Fully Embrace Social Media?
    “A champion in senior management and a strong business case”
    “Better understanding of how social media will accomplish more effective communication on key issues at critical times and with substantive suggestions.”
    “Putting in place appropriate guidance and monitoring the sites for content.”
    “Nothing, because it is a serious security risk and it’s not necessary to our operations. It’s not going to happen any time soon.”
    Source: 2010 Federal Government Employee Social Media Survey
    10
  • Usage Overall
    *MMORPG: Massive Multi-player Online Role Playing Games such as World of Warcraft, Second Life, EverQuest
    Source: 2010 Federal Government Employee Social Media Survey
    11
  • Source: 2010 Federal Government Employee Social Media Survey
    12
    Plans to Use Social Media Toolsin the next 12 months
  • Challenges of SM Implementation: Top 3
    Users are always the weakest link in an information system and may inadvertently divulge sensitive information through a social network.
    Source: 2010 Federal Government Employee Social Media Survey
    13
  • Other Challenges of SM Implementation
    Source: 2010 Federal Government Employee Social Media Survey
    14
  • 15
    Federal GovernmentContractors:
    Current Social MediaUsage and Practices
  • Personal Use of Social Media
    Source: 2010 Government Contractor Social Media Survey
    16
  • Organizational Use of Social Media
    17
    Source: 2010 Government Contractor Social Media Survey
  • Organizational Social Media Plans
    "You can’t really put a strategy together until you've actually gone out there, tried it, and actually lived/worked in these tools on a daily basis."
    18
    Source: 2010 Government Contractor Social Media Survey
  • Organizational Budgetfor Social Media Activities
    “We spent more in social media than we have before, and next year it will be even more than this year.”
    Source: 2010 Government Contractor Social Media Survey
    19
  • Current and FutureUse of Social Media Tools
    1st
    2nd
    Source: 2010 Government Contractor Social Media Survey
    20
  • Benefits of Social Mediafor the Organization
    Source: 2010 Government Contractor Social Media Survey
    21
  • Challenges of Social Media Implementation
    “It’s a major time consumer. Someone’s got to monitor it constantly, and we just don’t have the resources or people to do that.”
    22
    Source: 2010 Government Contractor Social Media Survey
  • Agency Social Media Profile:
    Centers for Disease Control
    23
  • Centers for Disease Control At A Glance
    • Tracked inbound traffic starting in 2005
    • Partnered with MySpace, Facebook, Daily Strength, Google Flu Trends Tracker
    • Focused on generating user-friendly, real-time content for citizens
    • Allows citizens to interact with experts
    24
  • Centers for Disease Control At A Glance
    25
    Number counts taken on July 21, 2010
  • Centers for Disease Control At A Glance
    Number counts taken on July 21, 2010
    26
  • Centers for Disease Control At A Glance
    Number counts taken on July 21, 2010
    27
  • Key Take Aways
    • It’s no longer a question of “if”, but “when” and “how”
    • Share your vision with the organization. Make a case for why it’s important.
    • The tools may be free, but using the successfully is not.
    • Don’t be afraid to try something new.
    • Learn from others. And share what works for you.
    • Not all employees know how to use the tools - train and set usage guidelines.
    • Create realistic metrics that align with your organization’s objectives.
    28
  • We would now like to welcome our panelists:
    • Michael Donovan – Chief Technologist, Strategic Capabilities, HP Enterprise Services
    • Bev Godwin – Director, Center for New Media and Citizen Engagement, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, GSA
    • Doug Mashkuri– Director of Business Development, GovLoop and President and Founder, Mash Digital Strategies LLC.
    #MCSocial
    29
  • Thank you!
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    www.marketconnectionsinc.com
    @mkt_connections
    30