After participating in today’s Social Media Metrics in Government Using GSA Guidelines webinar hosted by Hootsuite, I began to think more about the WHY and HOW social media guidelines and policies develop. This session discussed how the government developed their guidelines around their GSA social media goals which were connected to their strategic communication plan and web presence.
Obviously this webinar had a focus on measurement and assessment for social media use using both free and paid tools, like Hootsuite; however it offered some sound advice to organizations that are just developing social media guidance or for those who are re-thinking their social media policy. Instead of starting with a policy, strategy, or guideline list of what to do or not do, it would be more helpful for institutions to think through the WHY of social media. This process provides organizations focus, sets out objectives, and creates a rationale for social media use and how these goals might be measured and assessed. For example, the GSA wanted to use social media and social data goals, included:
- Be more effective in how they distribute critical information to citizens & communities
- Engage citizens to help shape to public programs
- Better inform strategies leading to greater efficiency
- Increase use of innovative tools and services to further development
It is important to consider your institutional goals when organizing your social media guidance, here a few suggestions given from the webinar – but I am sure your organization has many others.
- Knowledge sharing
- Cost saving & cost avoidance strategy
- To be transparent
- Talent acquisition
- Citizen engagement – Active use and participation (2-ways)
- Promote services and resources
- Provide customer service – feedback
- Provide real-time resources – expand upon current communication channels
Here are a couple of examples shared from the GSA for their use of social media goals:
Another reason to consider developing social media goals before establishing your guidelines is to consider how you will evaluate social media use for your organization. Social media management of your resources is critical. To help assess social media engagement and use it will be helpful to align your goals to evaluation as part of your strategic communication plan. Social media analytics and metrics through different 3rd party tools and social dashboards; however what will be relevant for your organization to track and use for assessment purposes. You want to connect your goals to your key performance indicators (KPI) and desired evidence-based outcomes.
One example was the use of hashtags from the Twitter for Public Health case study to outline a clear system for planning social media management. This public health group utilized a hashtag, #SM4PH, to build hype around the start of a regular, organized Twitter chat and to launch a hashtag for community development. Their goal was to measure the impact of the hashtag use, conversation, and community involvement before, during, and after this first chat to assess the long tail of this campaign.
Does your organization or institution have social media goals? How do these goals support your social media spaces? How do you assess and measure your social media goals? Let me know.
Macey, B. (2013, November 14). Social media metrics in government: Using GSA Guidelines – Webinar. HootSource. Retrieved from http://blog.hootsuite.com/social-metrics-gsa-guidelines/
UPDATE 11-19-13: If interested, this webinar is available for viewing on demand.