NWS Facebook Do's Don'ts and Tips


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This presentation was given by the National Weather Service Southern Region Social Media team to help NWS offices improve their status updates and better use Facebook.

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  • Halloween example
  • NWS Facebook Do's Don'ts and Tips

    1. 1. Facebook Do’s and Don’ts and Best PracticesTim Brice - EPZ Alex Lamers - TLH Karen Hatfield - TSA
    2. 2. Facebook• Facebook EdgeRank• Do’s• Don’t• Best Practices
    3. 3. From Mary Meekers (Kleiner Perkins) presentation in Dec 2012
    4. 4. The comments below were from John Ogren,acting CR director:The winter storm that left over a foot of snow across portions of Kansas andMissouri February 20-21 provided an interesting example of the power of socialmedia. Analysis of the Facebook metrics revealed that one of the Pleasant Hillweather story graphics reached over 400,000 people in 24 hours, and their“likes” grew to more than 15,000. A comparative look at stats from localtelevision outlets by WCM Andy Bailey suggested the NWS reach actuallyexceeded the network affiliates for weather content interactions. Similarstories are occurring in other offices. If we can make the right tools available,and learn to use this medium intelligently, we have an opportunity to create anew paradigm in communicating our message. To paraphrase Andy’sconclusion, this serves as an example that when the interest of the publicintersects with solid, attractive, easy to understand content, we can be asinfluential as any local media outlet.
    5. 5. Facebook pages ≠ profiles•• Pages – for your office (Like)• Page posts only reach 12% of users (unless you pay $$$ for a higher percentage)Profile page for your friends and family (Friend)
    6. 6. Facebook EdgeRanku – how often have the interacted with your page, likes, shares, commentsw – Videos > Photos > Status Updates > Linksd – as your post ages it loses value, thus a lower edgerank
    7. 7. Facebook – the good, the bad and the ugly•• Make sure they select “Get Notifications”When people like your page, tell them to hover over “Liked”
    8. 8. Facebook – the good, the bad and the ugly Facebook keeps changing the rules!
    9. 9. Facebook Do’s
    10. 10. 1. Consider your audience•• Better – act as if you are talking to one person• Discuss topics people love (like the weather)• Ask questions• Use personal pronouns and contractions• Have a relaxed, friendly toneRemember you are talking to people
    11. 11. 2. Choose the right time•Post between 8 AM and 8 PM (peopleare near a computer at work and home)•Don’t forget the Weekend•Post once to twice a day (more duringsignificant weather)Just some thoughts:
    12. 12. Posted at 3:58 AM
    13. 13. Posted at 11:55 AM
    14. 14. 3. Keep it short•• The longer the post, the less engaging fans find it.• Keep status updates short but informativePeople scan Facebook; they dont read it.
    15. 15. 4. If you add links•• Use full URLs and let users know exactly where theyre going when they click a link• Avoid URL shorteners* (this isnt Twitter)• Engagement rates are 3X higher for wall posts that use the full-length URL.Make sure links are good, topical, and regular * Unless you are using them for tracking purposes
    16. 16. 5. Respond.• Interact and respond with users.• For example, if someone asks a question, answer it!• Acknowledgement is really important.• It can take things to a new level if you continue to interact about a particular topic.
    17. 17. 6. Use an eye-catching image• There is no type of content that elicits a better response than photos.• Posts with good pictures get better visibility in the news feed due to the higher EdgeRank score.• Make sure the photo is as clear and crisp as it can be.
    18. 18. 7. Tell fans what to do•• The simpler the instruction, the better.• Ask fans to share, comment, or tell you• Simple requests such as “Click like if you agree”• Dont over useYour fans will follow your instructions
    19. 19. 8. Ask questions• People are twice more likely to comment on a post that poses a question.• To drive comments, ask a direct question and ask for the response.• The key guidelines are brevity, ease of reading and answering, and interesting topics.• Fill-in-the-blank posts are also extremely popular. They receive a great number of comments.
    20. 20. 9. Keep variety in your posts•• Keep it interesting by mixing in links, videos, questions• Dont post about the same thing every time, especially if no one is responding or interacting.• Mix up the type of text posts, too - some personal, technical or odd ball.Dont use the same images or links in every post.
    21. 21. 10. Paint a picture with your words • • Use action verbs • Write conversationally • Avoid canned phrases • Avoid Jargon – Use descriptive language Photo: Dan Clark
    22. 22. Facebook Don’ts
    23. 23. 1. Posting too much or too little•• Too little: forgotten• With less engagement FB Edgerank will go lower and lower• One to two posts a day optimalToo much: unfollow
    24. 24. 2. Don’t sound like a cranky neighbor • • Dont lash out at or delete negative remarks. • Be positive and convey your expertise and personality Negativity is rarely a good strategy MikeVolpe.com
    25. 25. 3. Dont offend people•• Remember that weather impacts peoples lives• Dont promote too much or be pushy, or people will tune you outNot everyone likes the same weather
    26. 26. 4. Dont be boring•• Avoid a bunch of robo-posts• Keep a variety of pictures, links and interesting posts• Dont just talk about products and services• Dont post just a link, add some text to explain the link.Dont post same thing day after day.
    27. 27. 5. Dont make people read•• Avoid technical jargon (speak in common terms)• Have more to say? Link to an outside web page or blog post.• Any Reddit fans? TL;DRLengthy posts will drive people away
    28. 28. 6. Not responding to feedback•• Sometimes a simple thank you, "like", or acknowledgement goes a long way.• Do you ignore email or the phone?• The point of a social network is for people to be social!• Not always possible depending on the weather.Are you listening to your FB fans?
    29. 29. 7. May not want to link FB/Twitter • Twitter hashtags on Facebook are not ideal • Formatting differences between the two networks • Variations in what people are looking for
    30. 30. 8. Dont forget to use proper grammar • • Commas, periods, and semicolons versus the "..." • A post without proper grammar reduces credibility - "if they cant get that right..." Dont type in all caps
    31. 31. Best Practices
    32. 32. Dramatic Photo: WFO Tampa • Asked Permission from Photographer o Verbal at first, Written by SRH PR once it went viral. • National Media Attention
    33. 33. Striking Video: WFO Wichita and WFO Amarillo Blizzard video at WFO AMA • Almost 5,000 Shares • Previous video almost 4,000 Shares • National Media Attention Thundersnow video at WFO ICT • Not as many Shares, but still attracted National Media Attention
    34. 34. "Experiments": WFO Huntsville• Fry an Egg on Asphalt to Demonstrate Heat Safety • Posting brief information and graphics about a specific topic resonates with the public more than just posting a link• People want to be engaged and respond to interactive posts versus just a boring old link!
    35. 35. "Experiments": WFO Flagstaff
    36. 36. Meteorological "Oddities": WFO Chicago
    37. 37. Contests: WFO BostonCustomer Participation!
    38. 38. NWS Success Stories• WFO Louisville is mentioning social media in short fused warnings
    39. 39. Ask for Reports: WFO Tulsa • Not many Shares, but Lots of Replies • Responses were critical to ops due to Gateway difficulties and surface obs missing during mixed precip event • Double posted to Twitter (see hashtags), received responses on both platforms
    40. 40. Asking for Shares: WFO Binghamton
    41. 41. Pleas: WFOKansas City
    42. 42. WFO DuluthWell Written Status Update with Answer•Led to some reports even though theywerent specifically solicited!•Personal touch by "signing" theupdate.
    43. 43. Tips• Devote One Person to Social Media Ops if Staffing Allows• "Like" Local Media and Other Weather Interest Groups in your CWA o Monitor them via News Feed ("Home" link) during active weather for reports, photos, video, etc.
    44. 44. Tips• Interact with Followers o Monitor "Posts by Others" section of page o Just liking a post/comment lets them know you saw their information. o Posts with watch/warning information more likely to have important questions asked in the comment section. o If you feel you wont be able to respond to questions during an event due to staffing, etc., tell them that!
    45. 45. Tips• Engaging Content May Be Just A Different Page Away o Dont be afraid to share interesting posts from other WFOs, media, etc., on your page as long as it is a reputable source.• Posting Office "Action" Photos Can Help You Connect with Customers o Shows that were not the nameless, faceless government meteorologists!• Use "Hazard" instead of "Threat" in Posts o Facebook may occasionally flag posts with the word "threat" in them, although it seems to be
    46. 46. Resources• SR Social Media Sites page: http://owl.li/i2AbN• Facebook Post of the day: http://owl.li/i2A5A• Facebook NoNo’s: http://owl.li/i2A2c• Basic Facebook Job Sheets http://owl.li/i6Cj3• NWS Social Media Statistics: http://owl.li/i2zYg
    47. 47. Final Take Aways•• Be engaging and relevant with your fans• Then when the weather comes you will blow the roof off things.During the blizzard last week AMAs posts were seen by almost 2 million people. The blizzard video alone was seen by over 750,000 people Think Social!Provide consistent nice looking posts
    48. 48. Questions?Tim Brice NWS – El Paso tim.brice@noaa.gov @timbrice17 575-589-4088Karen Hatfield NWS – Tulsa karen.hatfield@noaa.gov @kahatfield 918-838-7838Alex Lamers NWS – Tallahassee alex.lamers@noaa.gov @alexjlamers 850-942-8833 View a video recording of this Download this presentation: presentation via GDocs: http://youtu.be/5ASPdTMWssA http://owl.li/i6Jox