February 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm #153091
I was at an event earlier today on military and government use of social media, where the closing question directed at the panel was simply: what is your biggest challenge?
I found the panelists responses very interesting and thought I’d share their responses. It got me thinking about how something as “simple” as social media can still be fraught with so many different and unique challenges.
US Army Panelist – Limited resources and personnel and the rapid growth of new tools
US Coast Guard Panelist – The inevitable DHS vs. Military tug-of-war over USCG protocol
GSA Panelist – Keeping up with emerging technology
FVAP Panelist – Analytics and proving ROI
US Navy Panelist – Continuing to create relevant, meaningful content
What do you think is the biggest social media challenge facing government today?
February 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm #153099
I can definitely sympathize with the FVAP Panelist. Proving that there’s a strong return on investment in social media can be difficult. Even if in cases where it’s obvious that there’s a ROI, it can still be difficult to extract those hard numbers. I would think a huge challenge would be to prove that allocating resources towards social media efforts is worth it for government. I, unsurprisingly, think that it’s worth it for government to be on social media, but in an age of cost cutting it seems like something that could easily be political fodder.
February 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm #153097
The restrictions on active employees from using open, public social media for other than strictly personal reasons.
February 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm #153095
I like the mixture of responses. Resources, relevance and ROI seem to be constant themes throughout many discussions about social media.
I would like to add the “shiny object” challenge. So many times technology, or a platform hits the stage, takes off and everyone is talking about it, while a larger portion of a community is still trying to catch up with the technology that was the rage two years ago. If we are constantly chasing the new technology, what happens to the communities that we have built on the previous technology? Not everyone is going to want to switch and while we may gain new “friends” we really risk losing what we had.
My other concerns is how we are creating technology class struggle. If information is shared or jobs are found through social media, what about those individuals who live in communities that don’t have hi-speed internet, don’t have the funds for a fast computer and don’t have access to the tutorials to learn how to use social media. We are losing great individual contributions to our society by only having the conversations online or through social media.
February 14, 2012 at 7:58 pm #153093
I see the challenge of answering “why?”
- Why do we need these tools? For broadcasting information or for customer service?
- Why does one group use it but another doesn’t? Should every group/individual be mandated to get social?
If there aren’t clear answers to these questions before you start, it’s easy to be headed down a dead-end road.
@Kathleen – I think the digital divide is actually shrinking. With so many of the social media tools available on your phone (you can text to Twitter if you have a dumbphone like mine), and even low-income communities having mobile access (often as their only access to the web), the big divide is typically at work over who is using it and who isn’t.
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