Scott Horvath is the Bureau Social Media Lead, Office of Communications and Publishing at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Scott says, “The USGS has been running its main Facebook account since Nov 2010. Since that time its grown from a few followers to now more than 80,000 people from around the world. As the premier earth science agency in the federal government, we have a wealth of knowledge covering a wide-range of scientific research such as climate change, water and its impacts on the environment, drought, biology and ecosystems, energy, environmental health, and many more. Our Facebook presence has been managed, from the start, by using our own employees (aka – Ambassadors) to post and engage on the topics within their area of expertise. Our Ambassadors range from actual scientists doing work in the field, to public affairs, and customer service staff and are always excited to share the science that they’re passionate about.”
Jessica Orquina is the Social Media Lead, Office of Web Communications at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Jessica said, “EPA has been using Facebook to engage with the public about protecting human health and the environment since 2008. We currently have more than 90,000 fans on our main Facebook page. We post news, information, photos, and videos relating to our agency’s work. We also have regional Facebook pages to share our work in communities across the country and engage people on local issues. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media channels are coordinated with our overall communications, which also include news releases, email, and stakeholder outreach.”
These are their nine tips:
- Use static HTML iFrame tabs to post your comment policy and engagement websites on your Facebook pages.
- Whenever possible, have at least two people look at the content of a post before putting it up on Facebook or other social media. Everyone can make mistakes, having a colleague read what you’re going to post can help catch these errors before they are live.
- Set a strong password on your Facebook account! This is important. If you’re using a weak password and your personal account gets hacked, you will be giving the person full access to post as your Agency or do other destructive things. Change it every 90 days.
- Use Facebook on your phone? Set a passcode.
- Use Facebook at home? Be sure to logout of your account if others in your home (e.g., family, roommates) also use your computer. Accidents can happen…just don’t let them happen to you. Better yet, setup separate user accounts on your computer and set a password for each one.
- Have a backup admin who can gain access to the Page in case your account is locked out, hacked, etc. This person can then remove your account from having access to the Page in case something happens.
- Have a backup admin not located in the Washington D.C. area. If something horrible happens to occur in D.C., you can be assured that someone else can take over.
- Create a “secret” Facebook Group for you and your Page admins. Use this group to communicate easily, get immediate notifications when another admin needs help (no matter what time of day they need it), latest news affecting posting on Facebook, collaborate on post times, etc. As your Facebook expands continue adding other Page admins to ensure everyone is “in the know” about the latest info.