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IntroductionWith traditional marketing taking a backseat to digital for many companies, theway government communicates wit...
EPA Español (Environmental Protection Agency), Gobierno USA (USA.gov) andAlerta en Linea (Onguard Online). The Spanish lan...
Top Fan Counts among Spanish-language Government Facebook PagesThe pages with the highest fan counts are the CDC Español a...
The CDC en Español had the highest number of fans across all Spanish-language agencies as wellas the largest growth of tot...
Alerta en Línea regularly offers tips to users as seen on this post above.Although not the page with the most fans (the CD...
Who is Talking About Spanish-language Government Facebook Pages?The number of people talking about a page indicates the nu...
experience negative engagement levels as new fans may be slow to return andinteract with the page.Open Door PolicyOf the s...
The EPA Español, paradoxically posts the most frequently however does not allow users to postcomments directly on their wa...
The remaining three Spanish-language Facebook pages did not publish any tabholding posting information or rules and regula...
RSS Feed for blogs, a Policy tab and a Redes Sociales (Social Platforms) tabwhich displays other social networks in which ...
HUD Español is on the opposite end with an average of one post per month. Tothat end, this page also experienced the bigge...
Measured Voice to publish content. Recently, NCI has also been found to use athird party publisher named Spredfast.During ...
interestingly experienced a 38% drop in the number of fans talking about thepage.Another top performer, the EPA Español, i...
sharing or liking a given post. The page’s performance seems to have to do withposting activity, as HUD Español posted, at...
Top 15 Findings among Spanish-language Government Facebook Pages     The majority of content found on these Spanish-langu...
   The NCI frequently posts videos on their Facebook pages YouTube tab    which have been found to drive significant view...
Final ThoughtA number of factors affect the success of Facebook pages, including but notlimited to frequency of posts, qua...
About DK Web Consulting/ Social Media Spanish  ●   Why DK - We at DK focus on long-term relationships that blossom with   ...
Government and Social Media - How Agencies Communicate with Hispanics via Facebook
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Government and Social Media - How Agencies Communicate with Hispanics via Facebook

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Currently there are six government agencies with Spanish-language Facebook pages: Instituto Nacional del Cancer (NCI – National Cancer Institute), CDC Español (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), HUD Español (Housing & Urban Development), EPA Español (Environmental Protection Agency), Gobierno USA (USA.gov) and Alerta en Linea (Onguard Online).

The Spanish language Facebook pages for these US-based government agencies have been on Facebook anywhere from three years to as little as one year.

The goal of this series of reports is to provide government agencies with a benchmarking tool for their own social media channels compared within their respective branch of government and among all government social media properties.

This tool may be used by government agencies with an existing social media presence as well as those looking to better understand how to launch a Spanish-language Facebook campaign for the first time.

If you would like the full complimentary report which includes all analysis in one PDF file please provide your name and email to “info(at)dkwebconsulting.com” and you will receive it by email.

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Government and Social Media - How Agencies Communicate with Hispanics via Facebook

  1. 1. IntroductionWith traditional marketing taking a backseat to digital for many companies, theway government communicates with the public is shifting too. Governmentagencies are taking cues from the private sector and turning to social media toreach the public.In this report, we review in detail how government agencies look tocommunicate digitally with online Hispanics via Spanish-language Facebookpages. This report is the final installment of a three-part series about the use ofFacebook by US Government.1 There are two other reports that focus onGovernment Facebook use including Health and Human Services (HHS) and theUS Military. Together these three reports comprise the entire 2012 USGovernment Facebook Use Report.GoalThe goal of this series of reports is to provide government agencies witha benchmarking tool for their own social media channels compared within theirrespective branch of government and among all government social mediaproperties. This tool may be used by government agencies with an existingsocial media presence as well as those looking to better understand how tolaunch a Spanish-language Facebook campaign for the first time.Spanish-language Government Facebook Pages: By the NumbersFor this report series, 126 Facebook pages were reviewed of which only fewwere found to focus on a Spanish-speaking, Hispanic audience. Currently thereare six government agencies with Spanish-language Facebook pages: InstitutoNacional del Cancer (NCI – National Cancer Institute), CDC Español (Centers forDisease Control & Prevention), HUD Español (Housing & Urban Development),1 All analysis was performed between January and November of 2012.
  2. 2. EPA Español (Environmental Protection Agency), Gobierno USA (USA.gov) andAlerta en Linea (Onguard Online). The Spanish language Facebook pages forthese US-based government agencies have been on Facebook anywhere fromthree years to as little as one year. Both the pages for NCI as well as CDCEspañol, one-third of the total number of pages, are Facebook pages belongingto HHS.Only two of the six pages have more than 5,000 fans—CDC Español andGobierno USA—yet all of the pages showed steady growth. The NCI was thethird largest page with 2,481 fans, followed by EPA Español, HUD Español, andAlerta en Línea, with 1,881 fans, 1,125 fans, and 1,114 fans, respectively. In thefollowing sections well examine Facebook metrics and look at how theseSpanish-language pages performed in comparison to one another and the other,non-Spanish-language Facebook pages belonging to government agencies.NCI’s Spanish-language Facebook page, Instituto Nacional del Cancer de EE.UU.
  3. 3. Top Fan Counts among Spanish-language Government Facebook PagesThe pages with the highest fan counts are the CDC Español and Gobierno USA,with 20,966 fans and 9,223 fans, respectively, at the time our study closed inNovember. While the CDC grew by 96% within 11 months, the Gobierno USApage grew by 38% percent during the same time period.Gobierno USA had the second-largest fan count of all Spanish-language government pages.Growth of Spanish-language Government Facebook PagesWe observed a strong correlation between existing fan base and page growth, asthe page with the most fans at the beginning of our study was also the page thatshowed the most overall growth. The CDC Español, which had 20,266 fans inNovember, grew by 9,906 fans or 96%, since our study began in January 2012.The page with the largest percentage of growth was the NCI. The NCI beganwith just 2,024 fans in January and grew t0 4,505 by November, with itspercentage of fan growth at approximately 123%. Conversely, Gobierno USA,the page with the second-largest fan base, grew by approximately 38% (fourthout of six pages in terms of growth rate) despite posting daily.
  4. 4. The CDC en Español had the highest number of fans across all Spanish-language agencies as wellas the largest growth of total fans during the period evaluated.What are Spanish-language Government Facebook Pages TalkingAbout?Because so many people nowadays turn to Facebook and other social mediaplatforms for news and information, it’s no surprise that much of the contentfound on Spanish-language Facebook pages is informational. To that end, the“About” section of most of these Facebook pages says something to the effect ofproviding users with information and tips regarding that agency’s specific area ofexpertise. For instance, the Alerta en Línea page offers users tips to protectthemselves against internet fraud. Approximately once a month, the agencyposts links to content on their site that contains tips or useful information. LikeAlerta en Línea, the NCI posts links to content exclusively found on their website.Content can range from informational articles containing recent developments intheir field to ways in which users can obtain help, information or counseling.
  5. 5. Alerta en Línea regularly offers tips to users as seen on this post above.Although not the page with the most fans (the CDC Español as mentioned takesthat honor), the EPA Español posts more than any other organization online, anaverage of seven times per weekday. The agency posts news and information,links to outside resources and articles relevant to the agency’s mission, and linksto content on their website. HUD Español also sources from news outlets andpress releases to pepper their Facebook page with useful information for fans.The agency also uses Facebook to promote blog posts they’ve published on theirwebsite. One can infer that agencies post much of their own informationalcontent due to their role in reliably informing the nation. The NCI frequently posts information and links to articles found on their website.
  6. 6. Who is Talking About Spanish-language Government Facebook Pages?The number of people talking about a page indicates the number of fans creatingstories about said page, including: sharing, liking, commenting, answeringquestions or responding to an event.2 Based on these criteria, an average of1.61% of fans are actively talking about Spanish-language pages.The six Spanish-language government Facebook pages ranked comparativelylower in average talking about than the Facebook pages owned by all othergovernment segments including Military and HHS agencies. During the course ofour study, it was interesting that Spanish-language pages experienced a declinein fans talking about their respective pages. From January to November,numbers of fans talking about this group of pages decreased from 1.90% to1.61%.Despite the small change across all pages, some pages dramatically shrank orgrew more than others. The HUD Español Facebook page had approximately60% less fans talking about their page in November than in January while theEPA Español page grew by approximately 116% more fans talking about thepage in November than in January. The disparity in performance was mostobvious among those two.The remaining pages were split with regard to performance in fans talking aboutthe page. The Spanish-language Facebook page for the NCI experienced a largedrop with 26% fewer fans talking about their content in November than inJanuary. The CDC en Español experienced a similar decline with 38% less fanstalking about their page in November. However, these pages with 123% and97% growth respectively, were the fastest growing among all Spanish-languagepages. One can infer that a Facebook page with such rapid growth can2 The number of fans talking about a page is indicated on the landing page of each Facebook page.
  7. 7. experience negative engagement levels as new fans may be slow to return andinteract with the page.Open Door PolicyOf the six pages we reviewed, four allow fans to post directly on their wall whiletwo do not. Alerta en Linea, which actually experienced a 19% jump in thenumber of fans talking about the page, does not allow fans to post directly onthe page’s wall, rather fans are only able to comment or engage with contentthat the page itself has posted. Alerta en Linea contributions were, at most,three posts per week though most weeks their page resembles a governmentghost town. With limited output and restrictions on fan involvement, Alerta enLinea gave fans very little opportunity to reciprocate and engage.The second page found to bar fans from posting directly on its wall is the EPAEspañol, which despite restrictions showed 43% fan growth over the time period.EPA Español’s Facebook page performed well in other areas, even showinggrowth in engagement despite restricting fans from commenting directly. This islikely due to the EPA Español remaining consistent with their content schedule,with an average of seven posts per day, excluding weekends. Recent postings ofvideos and images have also generated shares, which significantly increasestalking about figures.The remaining four Facebook pages did allow fans to post on their walls yet thiswas not indicative of positive performance, with three out of four showing adecline in the number of fans talking about these pages. HUD Español, CDCEspañol, and the NCI, and had an average of 60%, 38%, and 26% less fanstalking about them in November than in January, respectively.
  8. 8. The EPA Español, paradoxically posts the most frequently however does not allow users to postcomments directly on their wall.Facebook Tabs — Which are the Most Popular among Spanish-languageGovernment Facebook Pages?Tab usage is an analysis of the number of custom tabs used by each Spanish-language Facebook page in addition to the Photos and Events tabs. One of themost-used tabs, used by the NCI, EPA Español and Gobierno USA, was one forthe Rules/Commenting Policy. Though each page dubs the tab differently(políticas, privacidad, etc.) generally all contain the same information:instructions to users to post no nudity or profanity; information regardingauthor’s rights; no spam; content published is at the discretion of the pageowners; etc. The use of a rules tab is conducive to pages with an “open door”policy with regards to comments and engagement, and is common practice ofgovernment agencies.
  9. 9. The remaining three Spanish-language Facebook pages did not publish any tabholding posting information or rules and regulations. A policies tab is the most commonly used application among all Spanish-language government Facebook pages.Tab Usage by Spanish-language Government Facebook PagesIt seems that tab usage is in heavy decline; the CDC Español even recentlyremoved a Welcome tab—a once popular Facebook tab before Timeline was putin place—which was also once used by the NCI. CDC Español was one of severalSpanish-language government pages with zero tab usage. Overall, Spanish-language pages had the least usage of tabs, an average of 2.2 tabs per pagecompared with the average of 5.4 tabs used by Military Facebook pages.Tab usage across Spanish-language government Facebook pages remainsconsistently low with one to three custom tabs at most, except for one: NCI’sFacebook page. This Facebook page had four custom tabs in place: YouTube,
  10. 10. RSS Feed for blogs, a Policy tab and a Redes Sociales (Social Platforms) tabwhich displays other social networks in which to find the NCI. Of the three,YouTube appears to be the tab that is updated the most. Here, the agencypublishes informational videos about various types of cancer targeted to aSpanish-speaking audience. Videos are generally led by physicians and/orexperts in the area and are conducted completely in Spanish. Views for videospublished on the page’s YouTube channel range anywhere from 76 toapproximately 600 views.NCI’s YouTube tab has received nearly 600 views for a single video.How often do Spanish-language Government Facebook Pages Post?There is little consistency in the number of posts published per day by each ofthe Facebook pages. On the higher end of the spectrum is the Gobierno USAFacebook page, which, at an average of 8 posts per week (1.6 per weekday),was the second most active of all six pages in November. That position wassurpassed only by the EPA Español after a dramatic increase in posts was seen inthe second half of 2012. Currently, the EPA averages 34 posts a week, orapproximately seven posts per weekday. Consequently, the number of peopletalking about the EPA grew by 116% over the same time period.
  11. 11. HUD Español is on the opposite end with an average of one post per month. Tothat end, this page also experienced the biggest decline in the number of fanstalking about, approximately 60% less. Judging by the numbers, there is apositive correlation between page activity and engagement, as more posts yieldmore engagement though not always more fans.Do Spanish-language Government Facebook Pages Post on theWeekend?Spanish-language Facebook pages adhere to a traditional weekday workschedule when it comes to posting: seldom posts in the evening and only oneagency that posts on the weekends. Unlike the Military agencies which showedheavy activity on weekends, Spanish-language Facebook pages mostly abstainedfrom publishing content Saturdays and Sundays. The EPA Español posted on theweekends but it did not affect fan engagement, as weekend posts received anaverage of one to two likes each, similar to those posted on weekdays.Above, a weekend post from the EPA Español page.Application UsageAlthough Facebook launched the scheduling feature for Facebook pages in 2012,half of the Spanish-language pages continue to use 3rd party applications to post.HUD Español utilized Hootsuite to schedule posts while Gobierno USA relies on
  12. 12. Measured Voice to publish content. Recently, NCI has also been found to use athird party publisher named Spredfast.During the time the HUD Español utilized Hootsuite, the agency still only postedapproximately once per month. Gobierno USA, however, did have the secondmost posts per day compared with other Spanish-language Facebook pages, with1.6 posts per day, and uses the Measured Voice tool for some posts. Overall,the usage of applications is expected to mostly disappear, as posts do not showup as prominently to users when using a posting tool and we expect theFacebook scheduling feature to be used with more frequency by governmentagencies.A post above from Gobierno USA, posted using the Measured Voice social media tool. This willlikely be seen less frequently in 2013 as Facebook’s scheduling feature grows in popularity.Top Performers among Spanish-language Government Facebook PagesThe top performers among Spanish-language government Facebook pages werenot necessarily those with the highest fan count. The CDC Español can beconsidered a top performer with 20,266 fans at the time of our research. Thepage increased their fan base by approximately 96% in three months but
  13. 13. interestingly experienced a 38% drop in the number of fans talking about thepage.Another top performer, the EPA Español, increased the number of fans talkingabout their page by 116%. Even though the number of total fans did not growas significantly as the CDC Español page did, the number of fans engaging withthe page substantially increased which is an important metric taken into accountwhen evaluating performance across social media platforms.The CDC en Español page is shown with 166 current fans talking about their page.Disconnection?Growth and fans in the double-digits notwithstanding, Spanish-languageFacebook pages are still struggling to engage fans. Not one of the six Spanish-language pages surpassed the 1% mark with regards to engagement-per-post.The page that faired best, NCI, had an average of 0.64% percent of engagedfans, a small number when you consider their 4,000+ fan base. The HUDEspañol page, which is the only page without a Facebook cover, showed theleast amount of fan engagement with an average of 0.02% of fans commenting,
  14. 14. sharing or liking a given post. The page’s performance seems to have to do withposting activity, as HUD Español posted, at most, once per day.Gobierno USA, which exhibited sporadic posting activity with less than one postper week at times and up to two posts per day during other times, had greaterfan engagement than HUD Español with an average of 0.17% of fans reportedlyengaged. Among themselves, numbers are very low, but when Spanish-languagepages are compared to other government Facebook pages, they fare better thanthe Military and HHS. As big fish in a smaller pond, Spanish-language pages fallinto a niche targeting Hispanics that inevitably helps their metrics despite lack ofreciprocation on behalf of fans in certain areas.There was a two-week gap between posts published by HUD Español.
  15. 15. Top 15 Findings among Spanish-language Government Facebook Pages  The majority of content found on these Spanish-language Facebook pages is informational, i.e. doesn’t ask questions, or include calls to action for engagement.  The EPA Español posts an average of 7 times per weekday, more than any other Spanish-language government Facebook page.  Most agencies post content from their respective websites rather than links to news sources or other media.  An average of 1.61% of fans are talking about the respective Spanish- language Facebook pages. This figure dropped nearly 16% from the beginning of the year until November.  The most commonly used tab across all pages is a tab created for policy, rules and regulations with instructions to fans on engaging with the page.  66% of the Spanish-language pages allow fans to post on the pages wall.  The CDC Español has the highest fan count among Spanish-language pages with over 20,000.  The use of Facebook tabs declined over the course of the study, most noticeable in the removal of Welcome tabs by a number of agencies.  Spanish-language pages used the least number of tabs (2.2 on average) compared to other government groups, HHS and Military pages.
  16. 16.  The NCI frequently posts videos on their Facebook pages YouTube tab which have been found to drive significant views and engagement, such as 500+ views on a recent video posting. Based on the activity of Spanish-language Facebook pages, there is a positive correlation between page activity and engagement, as more posts yield more engagement though not always more fans. Spanish-language Facebook pages generally adhere to a traditional weekday work schedule when it comes to posting, as the EPA Español is the only agency to post on weekends. Spanish-language pages are still struggling to engage fans—zero of the six pages surpassed the 1% mark with regards to engagement-per-post by their fans. Spanish-language pages fall into a niche by providing content to Hispanics that inevitably helps their metrics despite lack of reciprocation on behalf of fans in certain areas. Three Spanish-language agencies continue to use third-party applications such as Hootsuite and Measured Voice to post content on Facebook. However, the launch of Facebooks scheduling feature will likely lead to diminished use.
  17. 17. Final ThoughtA number of factors affect the success of Facebook pages, including but notlimited to frequency of posts, quality of content and the use of tabs, yetincreasing efforts in these areas does not guarantee success. While a number ofHispanics turn to social media to obtain news and information or remain up-to-date with government, they are still a burgeoning group. Compared to otherbranches of government, success of Spanish-language government pages is slowbut quickly picking up momentum.For additional copies of this report or to request the full data set, please send anemail to: info@dkwebconsulting.com.
  18. 18. About DK Web Consulting/ Social Media Spanish ● Why DK - We at DK focus on long-term relationships that blossom with time as we become more acquainted with the client. Our capabilities in social media, web development, and digital Hispanic marketing enable our client to reach their goals. Further, we guarantee a dedicated project manager to all accounts ensuring the customer satisfaction the client needs in the short and long term. ● Why SMS - Social Media Spanish (SMS) is a service that enables our clients to fully engage with their Hispanic target market. SMS allows firms to increase awareness of their brand, increase visits to their stores or websites, and ultimately increase profitability. Our SMS team of native born, fully bilingual Latinas and Latinos works daily out of our Columbus and Phoenix office to exceed your expectations while proactively communicating with your fans & potential customers in their preferred language, be it English or Spanish. DK Web Consulting Social Media Spanish P: 480-382-6508 P: 614-719-9245 E: info@dkwebconsulting.com E:info@socialmediaspanish.com W: www.dkwebconsulting.com W:www.socialmediaspanish.com

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