Government

Case Study: Facebook Page Launch for Local Government


Business Challenge

Local government was significantly behind some of the community’s social media early adopters in fielding a presence, so management knew that their social media presences would be closely scrutinized. Therefore, management wanted to choose the optimal venue in which to launch and build the foundation for expansion. This pilot had two goals: to test the strategy and to build the client’s social business competency. Competency had two facets: hands-on experience with social and technical nuances of using the platforms as well as a management capability for planning, launching and evaluating social business projects.

Role

As engagement partner, worked with the Communications Department team to plan, launch and evaluate an eight-week Facebook pilot and to seed the government’s social business team. CSRA developed the pilot charter (project plan) that included specific goals, resource requirements, timelines, content strategies and measurements. Developed several pilot templates that explicitly outlined specific goals, workflows and tools for Champion, Manager and Contributor roles. Used the Social Network Roadmap(SM)’s social business management framework to manage the growth of the client’s social business competencies.

Rollout

The Facebook Page was the client’s first social media presence. Their team selected the Facebook platform because the Ecosystem Audit had revealed that the government’s stakeholders (constituents) overwhelmingly preferred it, and content depth requirements were modest.

  • CSRA served as co-manager, mentoring the social business team in all phases of planning, interacting and managing the pilot.
  • Since Facebook is so pervasive and general, the team decided to carve the Contributor role into three. CSRA designed multiple Contributor templates to distribute responsibility and provide clear content and goals for each Contributor; these were aligned with stakeholders and their workstreams and made each Contributor role distinct while providing a unified presence to the community.
  • Developed highly specialized search tools for each Contributor template, which helped Contributors quickly find items to share in accordance with their content strategies. This helped make each template self-contained and minimized time requirements.
  • Co-Managers co-led team calls; at first CSRA led the calls, but quickly transitioned to an advisory role as the client’s social media team learned quickly.
  • Led responses to unusual circumstances that emerged on the Facebook Wall, mentoring the client’s social media team in intervention techniques.

Results

  • The pilot charters and Contributor templates made the whole process explicit and showed various departments what was entailed in launching a presence. This insight enabled some of them to share in the general Facebook Page instead of launching their own presences as they had originally envisioned, thus avoiding “social media orphans” (presences that are abandoned after the originator discovers the extent of the commitment).
  • The Facebook pilot proved an optimal entry presence because it addressed all stakeholders in a platform that they loved.
  • Although the government was late to enter the ecosystem, they were able to regain leadership by leveraging the strategy and executing consistently. CSRA mentored the team and helped address potential issues before they became problems.
  • By focusing on trust and relationship, the client was able to develop trust more quickly. Moreover, the Ecosystem Audit had shown that many stakeholders, although they liked Facebook, didn’t know how to use it. This insight also helped the client to lead by example.
  • Today the client’s Facebook Page is a dominant Facebook destination for stakeholders when measured by engagement via CSRA’s “Facebook Hierarchy of Social Actions.” By consistently validating low-commitment responses, the client steadily increased commitment on the Facebook Page over time. At launch, the primary social action was the “Like,” but Likes’ portion of the total fell during the pilot as people commented more and shared organic posts over time.
  • Facebook was a very effective platform for social media skill development. The government’s social business team learned quickly and was able to train other Contributors in many aspects of increasing interactivity and engagement.
  • The strategy behind launching the Facebook page was proven out on Facebook because the team was relevant right out of the gate and hit a chord with the community.
  • The eight-week pilot period allowed the client team to take steps each week without getting overwhelmed. Also, the mentoring during weekly conference calls helped the team work out responses to difficult comments or posts that they weren’t sure how to respond to.
  • The pilot process and guidance the client got through the pilot helped build their confidence to make decisions later on by themselves.

See also (same client): Social Business StrategyFitness Program Launch, Social Event Calendar Launch, and Social Business Governance Program.

More detailed personalized case studies available on request.

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