In gov’t web management circles, a common assumption is that there isn’t much interest in agency heads. Rather, people come to us for information or to do things like get their driver’s licenses. I discuss this idea with my friend Candi Harrison on a regular basis, and she’s blogged about how much she dislikes making a big deal out of agency heads.
I agree with the point that our Web sites should be about primarily about serving citizens. But I’m starting to wonder whether, in the world of social media, we’re missing an opportunity.
At EPA, we’re trying out a few different approaches on Facebook. Comparing Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s page to the main EPA Facebook page, we’re getting some good data that suggests the personal approach works really well in this venue.
EPA has 2660 fans. Administrator Jackson has 1391 fans, but is growing faster.
On Facebook, fans can click a button saying they like something and they can also comment. Let’s look at what happened with a recent post on each page about an op-ed by Administrator Jackson on selling environmentalism.
On the main EPA page, 4 people clicked they liked it and 4 commented. On the Administrator’s page, 33 clicked they liked it and 20 commented.
This result is typical when we post things to both pages.
My takeaway is that for items focused specifically on Administrator Jackson, her page’s fans react much more.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens as we make efforts to have the main page be more interactive and personal, and as we focus on a few specific topics.
And while we’re looking at personal vs. organizational, here’s a related question: is it possible to have a Facebook fan base heavily engage with a page that covers a broad variety of topics, or is it better to focus it much more narrowly? I’m guessing the latter is better in terms of measuring engagement.