Government and Social Media: How Agencies Communicate with Hispanics via Facebook

Blog series originally posted at DK Web Consulting.

In today’s blog on Government communication with Hispanics via Facebook, we will look at three main things; (1) which Facebook tabs are popular, (2) how many tabs do US Government agencies use, and (3) do these Spanish-language pages use third-party applications to post. For those of you who missed it, please make sure to check out Part 1 which discussed the statistics and trends of US Government agency pages.

Facebook Tabs — Which are the Most Popular among Spanish-language Government Facebook Pages?

Tab usage is an analysis of the number of custom tabs used by each Spanish-language Facebook page in addition to the Photos and Events tabs. One of the most-used tabs, used by the NCI, EPA Español and Gobierno USA, was one for the Rules/Commenting Policy. Though each page dubs the tab differently (políticas, privacidad, etc.) generally all contain the same information: instructions to users to post no nudity or profanity; information regarding author’s rights; no spam; content published is at the discretion of the page owners; etc. The use of a rules tab is conducive to pages with an “open door” policy with regards to comments and engagement, and is common practice of government agencies.

The remaining three Spanish-language Facebook pages did not publish any tab holding posting information or rules and regulations.

epa espanol policies tab

A policies tab is the most commonly used application among all Spanish-language government Facebook pages.

Tab Usage by Spanish-language Facebook Pages

It seems that tab usage is in heavy decline; the CDC Español even recently removed a Welcome tab—a once popular Facebook tab before Timeline was put in place—which was also once used by the NCI. CDC Español was one of several Spanish-language government pages with zero tab usage. Overall, Spanish-language pages had the least usage of tabs, an average of 2.2 tabs per page compared with the average of 5.4 tabs used by Military Facebook pages.

Tab usage across Spanish-language government Facebook pages remains consistently low with one to three custom tabs at most, except for one: NCI’s Facebook page. This Facebook page had four custom tabs in place: YouTube, RSS Feed for blogs, a Policy tab and a Redes Sociales (Social Platforms) tab which displays other social networks in which to find the NCI. Of the three, YouTube appears to be the tab that is updated the most. Here, the agency publishes informational videos about various types of cancer targeted to a Spanish-speaking audience. Videos are generally led by physicians and/or experts in the area and are conducted completely in Spanish. Views for videos published on the page’s YouTube channel range anywhere from 76 to approximately 600 views.


NCI’s YouTube tab has received nearly 600 views for a single video.

Application Usage

Although Facebook launched the scheduling feature for Facebook pages in 2012, half of the Spanish-language pages continue to use 3rd party applications to post. HUD Español utilized Hootsuite to schedule posts while Gobierno USA relies on Measured Voice to publish content. Recently, NCI has also been found to use a third party publisher named Spredfast.

During the time the HUD Español utilized Hootsuite, the agency still only posted approximately once per month. Gobierno USA, however, did have the second most posts per day compared with other Spanish-language Facebook pages, with 1.6 posts per day, and uses the Measured Voice tool for some posts. Overall, the usage of applications is expected to mostly disappear, as posts do not show up as prominently to users when using a posting tool and we expect the Facebook scheduling feature to be used with more frequency by government agencies.


A post above from Gobierno USA, posted using the Measured Voice social media tool. This will likely be
seen less frequently in 2013 as Facebook’s scheduling feature grows in popularity.

Your Thoughts

What did you think about the tab and application usage of Spanish-language Government Facebook pages? Would you rely more on the Spanish-Language Government pages if they increase the number of tabs and number of apps for their Facebook pages? What can these Government agencies do to engage Hispanics in their pages? Let us know in the comment section below.

Want the Full Report?

Due to size restrictions, we only cover several of the highlights of the report on this three part blog series. If you would like the full complimentary report which includes all analysis in one PDF file please provide your name and email to “info(at)” and you will receive it by email.


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