By Kimberley Glascoe, Public Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Census Bureau
With the 2020 Census right around the corner, we are steadily working on flushing out our strategies for each platform we’re currently on, and possibly even future ones. Not knowing exactly where to start, I decided to cast a wide net and reach out to the Federal Communicators Network. (Boy, was I glad I did!) I received a lot of great information from different agencies, and I wanted to share just a few takeaways.
- Speak with One Voice
Consistency is key! The narrative needs to be cohesive in order to not confuse the public with different messages. The main headquarters account can control the messages that go out, so everyone else managing the other accounts can pick up on it. Create evergreen messaging from previously released topics that’s useful for the entire country, which could be things that are important to leadership and your audience as well. Also, have your Twitter handles or Facebook pages tied to the flagship account(s) (ex: @CensusPhiladelphia for our Philadelphia regional office).
- Have a Schedule and Stick to It
Create a SharePoint page where all of the messaging materials, social media graphics, and training materials are posted and can be accessed at any time. Get to a point where you have it down to a daily function. (ex: a content calendar where everyone can see what messages are going out and when)
- Keep Everyone in the Loop
From leadership all the way down, maintaining a SharePoint page where a calendar is housed for internal collaboration purposes may be one way to keep everyone in the loop about what’s going out and when at any time. Also, using a scheduling tool that allows roles/responsibilities could help manage the workflows.
- Keep Your Audience in the Forefront of Your Strategy
Having multiple accounts means keeping in mind that what’s going on in one region (or area) may not be going on in others, so the messaging may have to be tailored. Ask yourself, what does our audience want to see from us? It’s about servicing the region(s) by providing relevant information for the people living there.
Pro Tip 1: Make your strategy more about creating engaging content, rather than getting a lot of followers. If the content is good, the followers will come.
Pro Tip 2: Analytics should be at the center of your social media strategy. Be sure to measure engagement numbers and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Have Guidelines and Stick to Them
The regions may manage all of their own accounts, but they still have to abide by the guidelines and rules set by headquarters. Headquarters can provide training and support for the regions by conducting Web-ex trainings, weekly follow-up calls, and training materials.