The Top 5 FAQs About Government Social Media, AnsweredAuthor: Molly Matthews
Missed the most recent Social Media Strategies Summit – Government?
ArchiveSocial recently took part in Social Media Strategies Summit – Government, a virtual event for communicators from government agencies all over the United States. At the event, Alix Bowman, VP of Customer, discussed the top social media habits of successful agencies in her session “Hindsight 2020: Top Social Media Habits of Successful Agencies”. She shared how social media has changed since COVID-19 as well as other insights and trends from the most recent State of Social Media in the Public Sector Report.
Bowman is considered a go-to expert for all things relating to social media platforms, strategy, and public record compliance, so we sat down with her to find out the top five common questions she gets about government social media, and what she recommends. Check out what she said below!
Government Social Media FAQs
1. Where do you publish your social media policy? On your website or your social media profile?
“It’s best to publish your policy in a centralized location and link to it from all of your social media pages or website,” Bowman said. She pointed out that you don’t need separate policies for the different platforms. “That way when you want to make updates, you won’t need to track down all the other versions,” she added.
2. Where can you find the “blocklists” on each social platform?
Bowman explained where you find who is blocked from your account for Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Twitter: On a desktop, click the three dots next to the word “More” on your left-hand menu. From there, click Settings and privacy > Privacy and safety > Mute and block to view your blocked users.
Facebook: The trick here is to know that Facebook uses the term “blocked list” about places where you don’t want your ads to be published. They refer to profiles who are blocked from viewing and commenting on your page as “banned users.” To see who is banned from your page, you go into your page settings and click on “People and Other Pages.” From there, you can filter the list to display banned users.
YouTube: In YouTube Studio/Channel dashboard, click Settings > Community > “Hidden users.”
3. Why create a social media policy if you can’t delete/hide comments due to First Amendment rights?
“The types of speech that don’t have equal protection under the First Amendment are few, but they can have a serious impact on your ability to communicate on these platforms,” Bowman explained. She noted that it is worth the effort to draw the line and enforce it.
To learn more about what is and isn’t covered under the First Amendment, check out our recent webinar with public records attorney Mark Weaver.
For clarity, here is the original question asked that led to Bowman’s response: “We heard earlier from a presenter that very few things have no protection under the First Amendment (hate speech is protected). Why create an external social media policy if you really cannot delete/hide comments due to First Amendment rights?”
4. What is the Pages app for Facebook mobile and how do you use it?
Bowman clarified the app is now called Facebook Business Suite on the App Store, and explained it’s used to manage your pages on your mobile devices. “With Facebook Business Suite (formerly Pages Manager App), you can access and manage the tools your business needs to thrive across Facebook and Instagram together, simplified and in one place,” Bowman said.
Use Facebook Business Suite to:
- Create, schedule, and manage posts from a single app, so you can share with more people at once
- View all messages, comments, and activity that need your attention, so you can efficiently respond to customers
- See what’s working with insights about your audience, so you know how you’re doing on both Facebook and Instagram
- Stay focused on what matters with notifications about the important activity.
For clarity, here is the original question asked Bowman was asked: “Can you elaborate on using the Pages app for Facebook mobile? What is it, how do you use it?”
5. Do you recommend that smaller programs within agencies have their own social media channels with smaller audiences or contribute to the agency’s main account with a much larger audience?
Bowman pointed out that “Constant content creation is hard, especially for smaller teams.” She continued, “If your team or organization is so small that it becomes challenging to produce enough content to stay relevant, you might be better off using one main page that different departments or teams contribute to.”
She highlighted that this is also a great way to start and “test the waters.” Bowman explained that by contributing to the main page, you have less content creation pressure and can expand your audience beyond who you already have. Bowman said, “It helps users discover you, and if things go well, there is always the opportunity to spin off later.”
Still have government social media questions?
Discover the answers to more questions in the entire 2021 State of Social Media in the Public Sector Report and other insights provided by 600+ of your peers in public sector social media.