Using Social Media to Reach Your Audience

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, for disseminating information. However, during crisis situations, GSA may determine that social media may be a viable method to inform employees and the general public via its official accounts, when necessary, about ongoing developments.

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.

The use of social media at GSA should be strategic. Because these sites evolve at a rapid pace, their use and incorporation will need to be tailored to your organization’s needs, its business strategy and its overall communications strategy.

Things to consider when submitting a request for social media accounts:

  • Define your goals for using social media.
    • Will you be using social media to provide customer service, listen to customers, or communicate to customers?
    • How will your social media accounts link with traditional GSA media such as press releases or blog posts?
  • Identify your target audience.
    • To “find your customers where they are”, have you researched what platforms they use to interact? Keep in mind that social media might not be the right method for reaching them.
    • How have others used social media successfully for similar programs?
  • Survey existing social media accounts at GSA.
    • Official social media accounts are for informing our intended audiences about the great work we do at GSA. Will a new account confuse current audiences? Build new/different audiences?
      How will this account support GSA's mission of providing the best value in real estate, acquisitions and technology?
  • Identify the strategic need for the account.
    • Does it makes sense for an account to be created or should you leverage the GSA social media presence?
    • Have you developed a thoughtful social media strategy or communications plan?
  • Monitor and review your account regularly.
    • Have you used your account in the way intended?
    • Do you use your social media account regularly?
    • Are you building up your audience? Is your audience interacting with you on social media?
    • What metrics are helping you inform the use of your account?
    • Does it makes sense to continue this account?
print Share Icon Last Reviewed 2017-08-13