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Measuring Your Social Media Efforts In Government – How To Assess What Works And What Doesn’t Work

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Foursquare. These are all tools necessary in this day and age to reach your audience, but just having them and putting messages out is no longer enough.

As new social media tools become the “hot item” while the ones you’re just getting used to are phased out; the balancing act of engaging, measuring, and analyzing becomes rather difficult. Below, a number of government agencies share with us the importance of being engaged in social media and the reasons why it’s important to track and measure the efforts you put out.

“More important than the number of followers, “Likes” +1s, repins, ReTweets or views, is the ability of government agencies to provide qualitative data related to their social media efforts. In these fiscal times, social media performance metrics allow us assess what works and what doesn’t work. Social media affords us [the Army’s social media team] an unique opportunity to hear directly from our audiences about things such as the negative impacts of cutting Tuition Assistance or the usefulness of a newly fielded piece of equipment. The qualitative, social data we can collect social media posts asking for feedback is priceless; something that we surely wouldn’t be able to collect from our workstations at the Pentagon. As communicators, it’s our job to encourage two-way conversation while also using metrics and social data to illustrate the effectiveness of our social media tactics” Brittany Brown, U.S. Army Social Media Manager

Measuring “countables” like likes, followers and RTs is a good start. But government agencies are asking more and more about real world impact. As printing costs and travel budgets are being slashed, strategic and meaningful digital content distribution gains a critical level of importance” added Mike Schaffer, Director, Digital Strategy, Hager Sharp

“Measuring your social media is crucial to government agencies and how much time you invest in social media. We are often reviewed by federal agencies on how we are engaging the public and our measurements enable us to show them the direct effect our social media. I love being able to take our results and surprise them with the positive impact it is making” says Josh Suiter, Community Outreach Specialist, Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency

Social Media has become a primary component of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) communications program. FHWA uses Social Media to keep stakeholders and the traveling public informed on issues related to the Nation’s mobility and safety. FHWA also uses Social Media to engage stakeholders and the public to seek input and feedback on a variety of emerging issues. As such, we monitor our Social Media accounts regularly to make sure we are using the right Social Media tools to effectively reach the right audiences. Each of the four tools we use—Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube—has its unique advantages; and we track activity to make sure we are connecting with the targeted audiences using the right channels” Tom White, Social Media/Web Content Coordinator, Federal Highway Administration

Join these agencies, among others, April 29 – May 2 in Washington, DC at the Advanced Learning Institute training on “How To Measure Social Media in Government: Managing & Monitoring Communications, Analyzing Data, Engaging Your Audiences, & Increasing Responsiveness To Maximize Results.” Learn more about the training and register online or call (888) 362-7400. Be sure to mention “GovLoop” for an exclusive $200 discount.

The Advanced Learning Institute’s mission is focused on helping executives build strong personal relationships, expand their business knowledge of cutting-edge trends, and find proven solutions to a wide range of business problems. To learn more visit: http://www.aliconferences.com

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