In our last blog, we discussed how to evaluate your command’s Facebook page strategy and administration. In this blog, we’ll cover content, page layout and recommendations, and integration and metrics.
Social media is about sharing useful and engaging information that is relevant to your community. Your posts should be relevant, timely and unique. Post status updates, photos, videos and links with a call to action; encourage your audience to share, like, comment, visit a website or answer a question in your post. This will help to spark a conversation and user engagement.
The work doesn’t end there. You need to monitor the conversation daily and keep it going. Thank users for posting content to your page if appropriate. If you don’t know the answer to a question, forward it to the appropriate subject matter expert. Then, let the user know you’re researching his or her question.
Consistency needs to be a part of your command’s Facebook content strategy. Post content on a regular basis - several times a week. Spread your posts throughout the week and day. You will lose fans if you overload them with content that was posted back to back. It is similar to a friend who posts too often.
Your posts should be conversational and brief - no more than two or three lines of text in most cases. Keep it professional; don’t use “text-speak.” Draft your posts in a word processor and spell check your messages. Check your links to ensure they work. You wouldn’t send out a news release without spell checking it or verifying a phone number. Social media shouldn’t be any different.
Page layouts and requirements.
Let’s start with your page’s name. It is how users will search for your page. Is it easily recognizable to your target audience? Even though an acronym may make sense to you, it may not be easily recognizable to family members, media and other interested parties. Try to use the full command name whenever possible and think about your intended audience’s level of understanding.
Do you have a vanity URL for your page? A custom URL such as Facebook.com/USNavy can make it much easier to find your page and to promote your page on other communication channels. To obtain a vanity URL, go to Facebook.com/Username. Be sure to select a username that stakeholders will logically type in when they think of your command. Avoid creating a vanity URL based on a specific name. If your command wants a Facebook page, create one based on the position. You can change the title of a page to match the individual, but the vanity URL can not be edited once created.
One thing that should be regularly changed is your cover photo - a compelling photo that tells your command’s story. According to Facebook, it may not contain contact information, calls to action to like your page or promotional content. Ideally, the photo should be 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall.
Integration and metrics.
Your page should already contain the disclaimer text and a link to an official Navy website. If not, now is the time to add it. See the page requirements in the PAO handbook and on the Navy Social Media Directory page.
After you add the required disclaimer text, you need to register the page. We will review your page to ensure it meets the requirements. The most common reason for rejection is the lack of the entire social media agreement or a link to an official Navy website.
Your command’s website should include a link to your Facebook page and other social media presences. Integration goes beyond just your website. Work within your organization to obtain rich content that tells your command’s story. Let us know about content that might appeal to the Navy’s audience. We’re always looking for content that ties into the CNO’s tenets of Warfighting First, Operating Forward and Be Prepared. Contact us at USNSocialMedia@gmail.com.
Now that you’ve put all this work into your page, how do you know if you’re successful? At first, there’s going to be an emphasis on growing your audience, the likes. Eventually, you should shift your focus to the “People Talking About This” statistic, which indicates how many people are actually interacting with your page by sharing, liking or commenting on a post. Think of this number as the pulse of your page. Facebook pages with at least 30 likes have access to Facebook Insights to help you assess your audience’s size and engagement. Insights are only accessible to page administrations. To learn more about Facebook Insights, visit Facebook’s Help Center.
We encourage you to use our Command Facebook Assessment and Worksheet to determine what is and isn’t working. The worksheet looks at your page’s strategy, administration, content, page layout and requirements, and integration and metrics.
If you have questions, email the Navy’s Emerging Media team at USNSocialMedia@gmail.com.
This article encourages brands to think beyond the normal “Twitter-is-for-news-dissemination” framework. While not all of the tactics will be relevant to your command, we encourage you to read the post and think about how you can do more with Twitter than just share your own updates.
How do you use Twitter to engage?
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