Something exciting recently happened for federal – including Department of Defense – social media community managers.
The General Services Administration-led Federal Social Media Community of Practice released “Social Media Metrics for Federal Agencies” during Social Media Week. Think of it as a framework for understanding and analyzing metrics on various social networks as well as establishing a common baseline for evaluating social media. The important phrase is “common baseline.”
As a member of the interagency working group that created this baseline, I can tell you that a lot of work went into developing the right framework:
The framework establishes a common picture for understanding social media metrics across the federal enterprise. At the same time, the framework is a living document that is meant to evolve as social media develops.
If you want to learn more, you should consider attending GSA’s free webinar “Social Media Performance Metrics: What You Need to Know” on Wed., March 13 from 11 to 11:45 a.m. ET. The webinar will cover:
I encourage you to review the framework and ask yourself how you can apply it to your command’s social media platform.
U.S. Navy Emerging Media Deputy Director
Facebook announced last week it discovered bugs in Pages Insights that impacted impression and reach reporting, and planned to correct the problem. What does this mean for Navy Facebook Page Administrators?
According to Facebook:
What should you do?
Starting today, Facebook recommends you start monitoring your organic and viral reach and impressions for your Page and posts over the next few weeks.
If you notice posts that were successful in the past are reaching fewer people or are less engaging now, you should reevaluate your messaging. On the other hand, if a previously less successful post is now reaching more people or is more engaging, consider keeping the messaging.
You can read Facebook’s announcement at https://www.facebook.com/business/pages_insights_update.
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.
Facebook’s usage stats, called “Facebook Insights,” are still a mystery to most. In a recent post, Eldeman Digital provides a number of tips for navigating and using Facebook Insights. They include:
1. Pick metrics that matter to your communication objectives. There are a plethora of stats now available, but you should pick the ones that matter most to your objectives. What do you want to achieve and which metrics are indicative of your success? Remember to export the data and review the definition of each metric to ensure you know what you are measuring (the stat names are sometimes misleading).
2. Compare your progress over time. Although Facebook only gives you a snapshot of how you are doing at any given time, you should still measure your progress over months (and even years). This will help you draw more meaningful conclusions (and attribute your trends to certain tactics, events, or activities).
3. Measure the same metrics on a consistent, recurring basis. Again, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the options available. However, it is best to focus on a few key metrics. Fewer metrics, more long-term analysis = actionable information.
Want more tricks for navigating Facebook insights? Check out the full blog post: http://www.edelmandigital.com/2012/05/03/friday-five-navigating-facebook-insights/