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Introducing This is Govable: The U.S. Army’s Facebook Landing Page

Hello, GovLoopers!

I’d like to introduce This is Govable, a series that will highlight government examples of impressive social media tactics and improved collaboration through technology. This series might not always showcase the biggest campaigns, but it will highlight small, meaningful steps that the government is taking towards Gov2.0. Please feel free to send me any interesting government uses of social media that you happen to stumble upon.

The first example I’d like to present to you is the U.S. Army’s customized Facebook landing page:

You may have read about some prominent private brands doing really unique Facebook landing pages, such as Red Bull, Coca-Cola and Mashable, but we come to expect high end graphic design in industry more than in government. However, you shouldn’t be surprised when you start seeing more great work being done on government websites (remember, “Innovation is Alive”).

Now, let’s break down the Army’s Facebook landing page.

What the Army Gets Right with Its Facebook Landing Page

1. There is a clear call to action at the top of the page with the “Join the Army Conversation” graphic and the hand pointing to the “Like” button. This falls under Marketing 101. Let the consumer or stakeholder know what you want them to do, especially in the online world. Don’t make people think about what you want them to do, just tell them. Every split second counts because virtual world visitors want their information fast.

2. It has a unique page title, which in this case is the very appropriate U.S. Army battle cry, “HOOAH!” If that doesn’t motivate you to “Like” the page, I’m not sure what will. I like that the title says more than just “Welcome” which any Facebook landing page could do. It’s specific and meaningful to the organization. It represents the culture and gets the visitor into the Army spirit from the word “HOOAH!” When you are planning your organization’s Facebook landing page think about your history, your culture and your services, then pick something that represents you best.

3. The Army also has a beautifully organized and well-designed page layout that emphasizes several ways to engage with the organization. There are active links to the official Army website, the mobile Army website, the Army on social media, the official Army blog, and even information on how to join the U.S. Army. All of the major highlighted resources and profiles for the U.S. Army are hyperlinked from the graphics, making it extremely easy to visit the other sites and tools. You already know that Facebook visitors are inherently in tune with social media, so it is the perfect opportunity to identify all of your organization’s social media profiles and increase your network reach.

4. Finally, the landing page includes a video that speaks directly to the larger Army community with the message “Keep Army Families, Army Strong.” Well-produced videos are an excellent way to convey an important organizational message in an easy to digest format. Although they don’t always have to be heavily produced and edited to be meaningful. A simple welcome message from your leadership or one of your organization’s established cheerleaders can have just as much impact in telling your unique “story.”

With over 489,000 Facebook members that “Like” the U.S. Army’s page, it’s obvious the call to join the conversation is working. I’ll also bet that they love the fact that they have got more than double the U.S. Navy’s 219,964 Facebook fans. Personally, I “Like” each of the service branches equally.

I don’t see a much room for improvement here, but if I had to give one piece of constructive criticism, I would suggest slightly more emphasis on the policies/guidelines regarding fan activity on the U.S. Army’s Facebook page. They currently provide guidance on the info tab, but they could break it out into its very own tab. You should let visitors know exactly what is expected of them once they join the conversation and clearly explain what isn’t allowed (or how it will be moderated).

What are your thoughts? Do you have any suggestions for improving the U.S. Army’s Facebook landing page or their Facebook presence in general?

Views: 285

Tags: ., Army, Facebook, branding, collaboration government, communications, gov2.0, gov20, jobs, landing page, More…social media, tech, this is govable


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Comment by Brittany Brown on November 9, 2010 at 6:57pm
Great comments and feedback! Did you know the Army just reached 1/2 million Facebook Fans? Check out the Online & Social Media Division's SlideShare page to view resources that helped them get there, including operating procedures, strategy, policy and best practices:
Comment by Sarah Vroman on November 8, 2010 at 11:02am
I think this is a great example of using social media as a community builder rather then just posting announcements and using Facebook as a bulletin board. I am excited to see the additional examples!
Comment by Michele Costanza on November 5, 2010 at 10:38am
This story from the WaPo, Facebook Brings the Afghan War to Fort Campbell, highlights how communication channels have changed for families in the Army.
Comment by Andrew Einhorn on November 5, 2010 at 9:48am
Nice piece. have to disagree with Hampton on this one though. We get pretty good traction through our small but active OhMyGov Facebook fan page we launched less than a year ago; in fact, while Twitter gets a lot more activity/engagement, facebook drives a lot more traffic to the site as it's still where far more people spend their time and spend longer amounts of time. So if you want to engage people more, I recommend Facebook. If you want to engage the press, businesses, and other agencies, I would use Twitter, which in my mind is a social network geared for more professional networking, even if messages are casual.
Comment by GovLoop on November 4, 2010 at 2:40pm
Beth - you just got one more fan....great effort - love the mix of content
Comment by Beth (Musselman) Clemons on November 4, 2010 at 1:08pm
well done - we did one a few months back on our USASAC facebook page...of course we don't get nearly the traffic big Army does but a great effort none the less. feel free to check it out and give me some feedback (and "like" us while you're there =))
Comment by Michele Costanza on November 3, 2010 at 9:53am
To me, the Army and the other military services are unique as government entities when it comes to knowledge management, social media, and collaboration through technology. Our U.S. service members are located all over the world and they work 365 days of the year, 24/7. They most often live and work in the same place, compared to clocking in and clocking out from work. Their families are separated from them, and share a need to communicate asynchronously across multiple communication channels. When a loved one is one the other side of the globe in a different time zone, the need for communication increases greatly.

I'm not sure if in the last ten years or so I've seen other government agencies adopt the same type of communication and knowledge management strategies and practices, maybe because the motivation or the need isn't as strong.

Thanks for posting.
Comment by GovLoop on November 3, 2010 at 6:36am
Great post and great design. Amazing to see 300 to 600 likes per post. I think another key here is they post 5-8 times a day and our consistent
Comment by Adriel Hampton on November 2, 2010 at 4:58pm
It's a really good looking page. However, I'm fairly convinced that much Facebook effort is going to waste (although I think there are great strategies for using its highly granular advertising platform). The Convince and Convert blog has just finished a series on the weaknesses of Facebook pages, and the third piece is especially damning - showing that pretty much only a high volume of content is going to get content directly into Facebook users feed, and that most will see the page once if that.
Comment by Karen Snyder on November 2, 2010 at 3:27pm
Hey Heather!
Great post - you do a really nice job analyzing what's great about this page. You mentioned the US Navy here - I was lucky enough to attend a conference last week where CDR Scott McIlnay showed some examples of what the Navy is doing with their Facebook presence. Really inspiring is the presentation!

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