Am I allowed to share news media articles?
Army social media managers can share news media articles, but...
Things to consider:
- Does it support your communication objective?
- Be careful of showing endorsement. If you share from one news source, you have to share articles from other reputable agencies.
- No paywalls. Don't use articles that force people to subscribe first.
- Is the source reliable and reputable?
- Does the article pertain to your organization?
- Is the article accurate?
Can I use copyrighted images, photos or videos?
Yes, however, you must:
- Have written permission. Copyrighted material may only be used with written permission from the owner (see AR 27-60, Intellectual Property). U.S. laws on copyright, primarily 17 U.S.C. 101, preserve, for the owner of copyrighted material, the benefits and earnings to be derived from the reproduction and distribution of such works.
- Give credit to the original creator or authoring agency.
- Never cut-out or cover up a company's watermark. This could put your organization in a potentially difficult legal situation.
- Make sure that content is factual, hasn't been altered or manipulated. Do your research before pulling and using content.
- Ask yourself, do I want my organization associated with the agency I'm pulling content from?
How do I grow my pages?
Just like anything else, you need to feed it and care for it. Your social media platforms need constant attention.
Things to consider when growing your platforms:
- Understand your communication objectives, research your audience and make a plan!
- Give people a reason to follow you. Be interesting, engaging.
- It's NOT just about you. Respect your audience and their interests.
- Consistency and relevancy are vital.
- Video is king.
- It's not a billboard. If you're not engaging on your platforms, then you're wasting your time with social media.
- Remember, quality over quantity.
To learn more about building a strong strategy to increase unit awareness of social media policies, boost engagement and maintain control of public perception of the unit, visit DINFOS Pavilion's Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy.
What platforms should I use?
Social media platforms are tools. Research the best tool for the job!
Things to consider:
- Who is your audience? What are they interested in and where do they get information?
- Budget, manpower and equipment.
- Consistent content.
- Can you provide the level of engagement to make it successful?
- How does the platforms fit with the others you run?
- Can you submit content to your higher headquarters?
To learn more about the pros, cons and guidelines for various social media platforms, visit DINFOS Pavilion's Comparison of Social Media Platforms used by the DOD.
How do I deal with trolls?
Things to consider when managing trolls:
- Don't FEED THEM. Provoking you and others is what they want. Ignore.
- Redirect the comments and reaction.
- Comment on valuable comments.
- Hide the comments.
- If comments go against your page's standards, you can delete and hide.
- Report violations of platform community standards.
Can I "boost" posts or buy ads on social media?
No, the only Army assets that are authorized to use money on social media ads are recruiting organizations and the Army Marketing Group.
What's the best type of content to use?
It's not about "what's the best type of content to use," but more about having a variety of content. Video is king on social media, but you can't just always post videos.
Things to consider when creating content:
- Package your content to sell and compete!
- Optimize for viewing on mobile devices.
- Stop the scroll!
- Be consistent, timely and relevant.
- Use simple, clear writing to reach widest audience.
- Video is king, but keep them short.
- Engaging on posts boosts the reach.
- Immersive, experiential and behind-the-scenes.
How can I get my leader to understand social media and the skills it takes to do it right?
Patience. Audiences now EXPECT leaders or influencers to be on social and directly engage with them.
Things to consider:
- Understand their communication objectives.
- Baby steps. Crawl, walk, run.
- Setup training sessions. They need to push the buttons!
- Schedule time to help them post/engage.
- Not all platforms are needed.
- Some leaders don't need social media. Give them a voice on the organization's platforms.
How do we get the blue check mark (verified)?
Each platform has different requirements in obtaining a badge.
Facebook: Request a badge at https://www.facebook.com/help/media or contact a member of the social media team.
Twitter: Not accepting any public submissions for verification and have introduced new guidelines for the program.
Instagram: Right now, only some public figures, celebrities and brands have verified badges. It's not currently possible to request or purchase a verified badge.
Someone has created a fake account of my CG or other senior leaders. What do I do?
There's help yet. Report all impostors through the platforms where you encounter them.
Things to consider when dealing with impostors:
- Make sure you and your leaders have their security settings set to the max.
- Get your senior leaders to register their accounts through the DOD registry.
- Do daily or weekly impostor searches for your leaders.
- If you think you're a victim of a scam, contact U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID).
To learn more about scams and impostors, visit the Army Social Media Guide.
How often should I post?
Your posting strategy really depends on available resources and content, manning and your audience.
Things to consider when posting content:
- It's better to put nothing out over bad/uninteresting content.
- If you're posting the same content on multiple platforms, change up the language some.
- Metrics will tell you best times to post.
- Don't be afraid to test. (A-B testing).
What times should I post?
That depends on your audience. The best times to post are when your audience is the most active. Use your metrics to determine what your peak times are. Also note, different types of content do better on different days and different times throughout the day. Research is your friend!
What's the biggest mistake to avoid?
While no matter how good you are, mistakes happen. The biggest mistake to avoid is rushing.
Take the time to create a strategy for your posts. Take your time to understand what you're posting and why you're posting it.
- Follow your SOP -- ALWAYS!
- Adopt the 6-eyes rule. Three people should review every piece of content before it is posted.
How do you know if a post will be a good post?
For the most part, you want to provide your audience with what they want to see.
Things to consider:
- Is the post timely and relevant?
- Is the post of something your audience wants to see or will respond to?
- Does the post have a call to action or ask a question?
- Is it done well?
- What sets your post a part from others?
How can I better collaborate and sync with Big Army on social media?
It's easier to coordinate efforts with the Army's Digital Media team. Each event will have specific criteria for content so contact us to discuss efforts. And while we know everyone is producing content, we just physically can't use it all.