Are you relying on Facebook to communicate with the broadest audience possible online? Think again.
Just because a citizen, business or stakeholder likes your Facebook page, doesn’t necessarily mean that they will see all of your posts. In fact, according to a recent comScore report, commercial brands that post an average of five to seven times per week only reach about 16% of the fan base they have worked so hard to establish. So, that post about a new economic development initiative or that weekly public health tip may have gone unseen.
How is this possible? Facebook has a powerful algorithm called EdgeRank. EdgeRank determines the most “screen-worthy” content. In other words, EdgeRank filters what posts each user sees in their newsfeed. Two people may both like the Department of the Interior’s Facebook page, but one person might see some of their posts while the other person might not see any. Unless you want to invest dollars on sponsored posts or spend hours analyzing engagement history, comments, and content aging, your organization is simply at the mercy of Facebook.
It’s time to take control of your communications, and Facebook can actually help! The answer? Convert your Facebook audience into a built-in base of subscribers who you can reach directly, anytime.
According to Pew research, 94% of adults online leverage email. Email is the #1 way to reach the broadest audience directly with personalized, archive-able content. This is especially critical in an emergency situation, where you need to reach as many people as possible. Even though email is your direct connection, social media can be a powerful acquisition tool to help build a list of people you can reach 100% of the time.
In 2013, government organizations are taking control of their messages by employing cross-channel promotion. People who like you on Facebook may not know that you have an email or wireless communications list. Invite them to sign up!
The City of Eden Prairie, Minnesota does this very well by posting links to their email subscription page in their timeline. Not only do they provide a value proposition for opting in, but they set the expectation around what types of information they send, as well as how often a subscriber can expect to receive email.
The Social Security Administration leverages GovDelivery’s Facebook sign-up app, which automatically displays for any Facebook user who navigates to their page (whether a users likes their page or not).
An added benefit is that the user can establish a relationship with your organization, without having to broadcast it in their own newsfeed. This is an effective strategy, as it can be set up once and will collect email and wireless subscribers automatically everyday. Instructions for GovDelivery customers who want to install this app can be found here.
Don’t forget, channel cross-promotion works on Twitter too! The Office of the Governor in Minnesota generates a sense of urgency by tweeting an announcement of their impending newsletter a few minutes before it goes out.
This strategy works well on Twitter too! The Office of the Governor in Minnesota generates a sense of urgency by tweeting an announcement of their impending newsletter a few minutes before it goes out.
Louisville, Kentucky also sends a tweet when new subscriber lists are available. This is a great tactic for building an audience for a temporary initiative, new project or when departments merge.
Social media allows government to engage with their constituents in a way that was never possible. When you are engaging an audience through those channels, they can also be used as a strong promotional tool to get more people to opt in to your email communications. For more ways GovDelivery integrates with social media, websites, and more, check out our Integrations Library.