Chapter 4. Social Media Use Should Be Strategic
Government use of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter present opportunities for supplementing how we reach our target audiences, including citizens. These tools should never replace official communication channels, such as gsa.gov, for disseminating information. Because these sites evolve at a rapid pace, how to best incorporate them will need to be tailored to your organization’s needs, its business strategy and its overall communications strategy.
Remember, agencies must ensure government information is available and accessible to people without Internet connectivity, so you must provide members of the public who don't have Internet connectivity with timely and equitable access to information. This might mean providing hard copies of reports and forms if requested. A recent government-led effort called the U.S. Digital Playbook is a collaborative effort to change the way agencies strategically approach digital citizen engagement. All are encouraged to participate.
As mentioned previously, contact the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org at the very beginning of your process to begin using social media. It is recommended that you already be:
- thinking about your customer and your goals for using social media;
- determining if you will be using social media to provide customer service, listen to customers, or communicate to customers;
- learning more about how your intended audience currently uses social media so you can “find them where they are”; and
- researching how others have used social media successfully for similar programs.