Principles for the use of social media networks and emerging technologies

Principle

Final | December 2017 | v2.0.0 | PUBLIC | Housing and Public Works


Principles at a glance

  1. Official social media usage is customer centric
  2. Social media is immediate and responses need to be timely
  3. Social media activities will be conducted by staff who have expertise in the field of social media
  4. Social media activities will make all reasonable attempts to consider accessibility
  5. Official social media activities are to be conducted in a transparent manner
  6. Customer's expectations will be managed
  7. Social media channels are governed through alignment with best fit for business goals
  8. Correspondence received via official social media accounts are considered official correspondence and shall be treated as such
  9. Social media activities are subject to relevant recordkeeping policy and procedures
  10. All social media accounts will be connected to online community engagement guidelines
  11. Official social media accounts will be monitored and moderated regularly
  12. Security protocols will be adhered to when accessing and managing social media accounts
  13. Risk assessments are undertaken prior to implementation of social media and is actively identified and managed
  14. Social media accounts that require closure will provide adequate notice to customers including alternative contact points
  15. All social media interactions and posts will be apolitical, impartial and professional
  16. Effectiveness of social media service delivery should be monitored to identify potential improvements
  17. Social media is to be measured via identified goals and customer satisfaction metrics, traditional metrics are a guide only
  18. Regularly review the social media platform to ensure it is still relevant

Introduction

With social media usage growing at an unprecedented rate it is rapidly becoming a viable channel for communication with customers. There are 15 million Australians using Facebook and approximately more than 2.5 million Australians using Twitter monthly[1].

Social media presents an opportunity for the Queensland Government to augment its traditional communication methods with the use of emerging technology as it is developed. Not only is usage increasing, but public demand is also growing around the use of social media as a convenient communications platform, along with the expectation from customers for participation from the government.

Social media provides the Queensland Government with a channel:

  • to engage with their customers in an environment already familiar and popular with the customer through the use of timely and appropriate bi-directional correspondence
  • to make it simpler and more efficient for customers to get in touch with the Government
  • to gain real-time customer sentiment, language, needs and informed future trends
  • that provides strategic direction for broad marketing and communications campaigns
  • to provide approved, curated content through the use of content calendars, pre-empting customer needs and contextual relevance
  • that leverages off the framework and tools already established and maintained by social media platforms
  • that provides customers with the mobility to interact with the government via social apps no matter where they are or what time it is
  • that encourages transparency and promotes reliability, confidence and trust in the customer experience
  • to help guide conversations in real-time, either by reinforcing positive feedback or by diffusing negative comments through using timely, moderated, direct engagement
  • to facilitate and support agencies to network around common threads and issues.

The principles are designed to be flexible yet provide a professional, friendly and consistent experience for Queenslanders wishing to interact with the State Government through social media channels.

The Queensland Government launched the One-Stop Shop plan 2013-18 enabling the vision to make government services simpler, clearer and faster for Queenslanders. This aligns with the government’s broader digital transformation agenda and its ‘digital first’ approach where customers will have access to Queensland Government information anytime and anywhere, on any device. As part of the One-Stop Shop program, a Channel Management Strategy has been developed with official use of social media supporting this strategy.

The vision for the Channel Management Strategy is to ensure the delivery of efficient and effective customer centric channels that provides customers with simple, easy and fast access to Queensland Government services..

Purpose

This document asserts the guiding principles for supporting a consistent Queensland Government approach to social media for a range of benefits to:

  • make it more convenient for customers to engage with the Queensland Government and access information, services and campaigns
  • help inform government of community sentiment and future strategic direction for government, based on qualified, real-time insights and analytics
  • guide the continuous improvement of online service design and transactions.

Audience

This document is primarily intended for:

  • social media managers
  • project managers
  • customer engagement managers
  • corporate communications and marketing managers.

Applicability

This principles document applies to all Queensland Government departments and encourages its adoption by other Queensland Government entities.

Scope

In scope

This document provides guidance on the official use of social media networks and emerging social media as service delivery channels.

This guideline relates to the social domain SL-2.2.4 Public Engagement within the Business Service layer of the Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture (QGEA).

It applies to all Queensland Government Departments and its adoption by other Queensland Government entities is encouraged.

References to the Queensland Government website includes all franchises including Business and Industry Portal (BIP).

Out of scope

The current guideline is out of scope for the following:

  • the release of open data
  • political or internal to government use of social media
  • personal and professional access to and use of social media, meaning those activities where the individual is representing themselves and not the Queensland Government
  • Online Community Engagement policy and guidelines.

[1] Statistics compiled by SocialMediaNews.com.au for December 2016.


Principles

Customer experience

Official social media usage is customer centric

Rationale
  • Customers are increasingly expecting to receive a quality customer service experience when dealing with an organisation via social media. By providing such an experience it enables customers to interact with the government via a platform that they are familiar with. Push marketing on social media is proving to be less successful than has been in the past due partly because of infrastructure changes in social networks, and growing maturity of customer’s usage.
Implications
  • Where social media is being used to deliver services, limit the use as a marketing channel and focus on customer service interactions. Effective customer service presents its own marketing and public confidence benefits through transparency and the awareness generated through public interactions.
  • Interactions with customers should follow Customer Experience standards and conform to complaint management protocols.
  • Social media should not replace other official channels but complement them. The social media content should align with that available through other official channels.
  • It is important to choose the correct social media platform for the circumstances and their capability to deliver on the outcome required. Refer to ‘Appendix A Selecting the right social media platform for the outcome required’.
  • When developing new social media accounts, agencies should consider completing the Implementation Checklist which provides agencies with relevant information about the governance, management of the social media accounts, monitoring activities and adherence to the appropriate legislative and policy requirements. If agencies already have a completed Implementation Checklist (or similar) for their existing social media account, they should ensure it is updated and maintained as required. Refer to the Implementation Checklist.

Social media is immediate and responses need to be timely

Rationale
  • Customers posting enquiries to official social media accounts have an expectation that their communication will be addressed quickly. Studies have failed to specify an exact expectation however it’s reported that the customer expectation for a response can vary anywhere from immediate/30 minutes up to 24 hours depending on the network and nature of enquiry
Implications
  • Within business hours, social media enquiries or comments should be acknowledged as soon as possible, and an average response rate target should be below an hour with a resolution target within 48 hours.
  • Customers should be informed of response times outside of business hours through an automatic response message.
  • When acknowledging a customer’s communication the use of canned or repetitive responses should be avoided wherever possible. Personalised acknowledgements outlining the request or comment and assurance of action within an appropriate timeframe should be supplied.
  • Resource levels to accommodate potential customer interactions in a responsive and timely manner should be considered.

Social media activities will be conducted by staff who have expertise in the field of social media

Rationale
  • Social media engagement and community management is a specialised field that has matured over the past ten years. Despite the accessibility of using social media for personal use, the professional application of social media and community concepts is a distinct capability that requires training and experience.
Implications
  • Any staff interacting with customers via social media will at a minimum be trained in Queensland Government Customer Experience, be aware of corporate communications and relevant legislation such as the Code of Conduct as prescribed in the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 and relevant privacy principles and other legislation such as the privacy principles prescribed in the Information Privacy Act 2009.
  • Customers may access government services via a variety of channels or platforms. Using appropriately skilled staff provides a consistent and professional use of social media experience every time for these customers no matter the origin.
  • In the event of a crisis, staff that are trained appropriately can significantly improve the response time and effectiveness of social media support for customers and staff.
  • The risks often associated with social media are best mitigated by staff with the skills to identify such risks and nullify them. As such, it is strongly encouraged that all staff responsible for posting through any Government social media channel, actually have practical experience that aids in their professional development and commercial currency in social media practises.
  • Staff that specialise in social media identify and stay current with industry standards. These standards should be applied to performance reporting and strategic direction as applicable.
  • Skilled social media staff would, as part of their core function, develop content strategies that align with the business goals of the agency and the customer centric needs of the community.
  • Social media staff shall ensure that all appropriate privacy, confidentiality, copyright and other legislative considerations are met as they apply to the use of social media.

Social media activities will make all reasonable attempts to consider accessibility

Rationale
  • While social media usage has been adopted by millions of Queenslanders, it should be noted that access to official use of social media accounts may be constrained by:
    • lack of access to a computer or mobile device
    • inadequate skills to operate a computer or mobile device
    • lack of access to a reliable internet connection
    • limited downloads quotas available via mobile devices
    • organisational restrictions on access to a social media platform
    • not being a follower/fan of the official social media account
    • lack of conformance of social media platforms with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Implications
  • In order to avoid discrimination, messages or information should be disseminated or contained across all service delivery channels. However, in some instances it may be appropriate to only use social media as a channel, for example for campaigns targeting specific demographic groups or for emergency or disaster-related events.
  • Customers may use social media to interact with the Queensland Government, however this will not be the only avenue for them to do so. In many cases, the alternative may be represented on Queensland Government websites, however it may also be appropriate to refer individuals to telephone or face-to-face channels.

Official social media activities are to be conducted in a transparent manner

Rationale
  • Conducting activities via social media in a fully transparent manner in line with the public service code of conduct and relevant legislation such as the Information Privacy Act 2009 promotes government accountability and public trust. The Queensland Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) has developed a Social Media Checklist to provide guidance on applying the privacy principles when contributing material to official social media networks.
  • Information security is a necessary part of managing any use of social media and agencies should refer to both the Information Privacy Act 2009 and the Information security policy (IS18:2018) which is the Queensland Government’s general policy approach to information security and relevant to all information and ICT.
Implications
  • Inaccurate content posted via social media should not be removed or deleted in most cases, rather the content should clearly be corrected via an additional comment or posting using a pre-approved procedure that informs language, vernacular, tone and permissible responses (not canned). Exceptions may be corrections involving simple spelling mistakes or incorrect titles which may be edited directly or republished immediately.
  • If a piece of content has inadvertently been published that is controversial or offensive it may be removed with an explanation / apology posted immediately after removal. This is the responsibility of the Social Media Manager and their approval should be sought first. However, a record should be kept of the original post and the reason for the removal of the post.
  • Any officer responding to and/or posting new comments should identify the comment as an official response from the Queensland Government by using the appropriate account. Officers should never attempt to answer or resolve a customer interaction via a personal account.
  • When interacting with a customer, social media staff shall use their first name to identify themselves where possible, staff will take all other precautions to protect their own privacy and will never disclose their full names or the names of their colleagues. Any email interaction will be conducted through a shared official social media email account. If first names are not practical, initials or alternative names could also be used (in a consistent manner) or reasonable exemptions made.
  • All official social media accounts will identify the account as an official government presence through the use of:
  • Queensland Government Corporate Identity customised for the respective platform
  • Ensuring all profile information is filled out identifying the Queensland Government and linking back to official websites and contact points
  • Identification of accounts listed on the Queensland Government website www.qld.gov.au

Customer’s expectations will be managed

Rationale

  • There are practical resourcing limitations imposed upon social media teams that limit the manner in which they can operate effectively to meet the expectations of customers. These expectations need to be managed in order to ensure reasonable customer satisfaction levels.

Implications

  • Operational hours should be readily available for customers so that they can manage their expectations on response times. Alternative contact points should also be highlighted for emergency requests.
  • Industry standards and customer feedback should be reviewed periodically to ensure operational hours and response times match the needs of the customers.
  • In the event of an emergency, the lead social media channel for timely updates should be made clear to customers.

Governance and management

Social media channels are governed through alignment with best fit for business goals

Rationale

  • Traditionally social media activities that are initiated without thought to goals or indicators of success generate limited effective outcomes.

Implications

  • When deciding upon the most appropriate channel for either content or establishing a community, the best format to fulfil both the customer need and business goals behind the activity will be considered before choosing the delivery method.
  • There is no mandated platform in which to deliver a social media activity, platforms should be fit for purpose – chosen for their suitability rather than popularity. Suitability assessment could include consideration of reach and size of user base. Refer to ‘Appendix A Selecting the right social media platform for the outcome required’.
  • Depending on the chosen social media channel that best delivers against the business goals of the agency or activity, there may be a requirement for specific resourcing and development of bespoke policies to accommodate the nature of the channel.

Correspondence received via official social media accounts are considered official correspondence and shall be treated as such

Rationale

  • In the past, disclaimers on Queensland Government social media accounts described interactions with customers via the channel as not official correspondence. Recognising social media as a legitimate communication channel means that messages received through any official account will be considered correspondence.

Implications

  • Messages received through official social media are subject to the same protocols as that of any with the Queensland Government (for record keeping, see Social media activities are subject to relevant recordkeeping policy and procedures).
  • Any complaints received through official social media channels will be handled in accordance to the appropriate agency complaints management policy and in accordance with all relevant legislation.
  • Content posted through non-official forums, accounts or networks may be noted and reviewed but will not be considered official correspondence until an interaction is initiated by the Queensland Government.
  • All agencies must give consideration to what content is published on social media accounts during the caretaker period. Refer to the Queensland Cabinet Handbook for further information.
  • Agencies should develop disclaimers accessible via the social media presence and advise how the agency manages their social media presence and include appropriate privacy notice that complies with the requirements of the Information Privacy Act 2009. The disclaimer should (where appropriate) make the individual aware that by posting content, the individual is transferring this information outside Australia. The disclaimer should be hosted on the official website and linked to/from relevant social media accounts.

Social media activities are subject to relevant recordkeeping policy and procedures

Rationale

  • It’s a requirement that agencies implement appropriate recordkeeping and archiving methodologies for all types of communication including social media. Appropriate means should be tailored to the value of the records and the risks that might occur if the records are not well-managed.

Implications

  • Due to the nature of interactions and activities using social media technology there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to implement across all of Queensland Government. Each agency will have differing circumstances around its social media recordkeeping obligations, and this needs to be reviewed in the context of the social media activity.
  • Some social media records will need to be captured into internal recordkeeping systems for longer term care and preservation. This may happen naturally as part of an approval process or it may need to be done after the information is posted to the social media service. Agencies should do a risk assessment to decide which records to capture. Where social media is used primarily for marketing, for the most part information disseminated through social media platforms would constitute a low risk short term value record. However, where social media is used to engage with customers or provide services, these records will need to be managed and preserved for the length of time required to meet an agency’s evidentiary and accountability requirements. Time periods for this will vary and agencies should check the relevant retention and disposal schedule for guidance.
  • Records created through the use of social media should be captures and managed in accordance with the Public Records Act 2002, Information Privacy Act 2009, Right to Information Act 2009 and the Records governance policy.
  • More information relating to the management of social media records can be found at https://www.forgov.qld.gov.au/social-media-and-yammer.

All social media accounts will be connected to online community engagement guidelines

Rationale

  • By their very nature social media activities contain user-submitted content and this makes online community engagement policy and guidelines a necessary component. Online community engagement guidelines provide ground rules for public participation in their social media interactions with the Queensland Government and help frame customer expectations. Used effectively they should discourage anti-social, irrelevant, offensive, spam and/or inappropriate commercial submissions, as well as foster a constructive online environment.

Implications

  • Wherever possible guidelines should be well considered and contextual for the social media platform in use – short in length and written in plain language.
  • The online community engagement policy and guidelines should be robust enough that in the event of a member using offensive posts or demonstrating anti-social behaviour, the guidelines can be referred to initially prior to more serious action being taken.
  • The online community engagement policy and guidelines do not overrule a social network’s governing Terms and Conditions nor can it be expected to serve as a binding agreement with a customer that changes the nature of their participation in the network or their expectations for their data to be handled responsibly.
  • Some networks may not have a place for community guidelines and in this case they should be hosted on a relevant official website and referred to via the account.
  • The guidelines assist in setting user expectations about what should or should not be submitted to a Queensland Government social media channel, and also specify when the government will remove or modify user-submitted content.
  • When developing the guidelines, they should be simple and flexible, as a long list of requirements for customers to follow may discourage customers from participating or create a negative attitude towards the government.
  • Guidelines need to reflect the network and the nature of the community they are serving, and one set of guidelines may not suffice for all channels.

Official social media accounts will be monitored and moderated regularly

Rationale

  • The moderation policies and processes which are adopted by government plays an important role in the operation of, and public participation in, social media activities. An overly restrictive moderation approach may create perceptions of government censorship, while too lenient a policy could result in receiving potentially large volumes of inappropriate or otherwise non-constructive user-submitted content. In some cases this may have the effect of discouraging participation by creating an online community that is inhospitable or unwelcoming to the broader community.
  • In addition to monitoring official accounts, there is an impetus to expand social media monitoring to supplement traditional media monitoring with broader community information and trends. Social media monitoring enables the discovery of emerging activity, commentary and trends with respect to government interests.

Implications

  • Hours of operation and moderation policies will be detailed in the community guidelines and shall govern the manner in which interactions are managed. Customers will be aware of what is acceptable behaviour and as the account holder, the government has the right to remove any content deemed inappropriate.
  • The government may not always have the ability to moderate the interactions conducted by customers and this will be acknowledged within the community guidelines or disclaimer.
  • When monitoring social media for relevant topics, any emerging trends or information should be reported back to the appropriate agency.
  • Content should be developed and refined to reflect the data gained through monitoring.
  • Moderating and monitoring time need to be factored in when accessing the resourcing implications.
  • Spam comments/content will be removed/hidden where able.
  • Further information on social media moderation can also be found on the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s website regarding Best Practice User Comment Moderation.

Security protocols will be adhered to when accessing and managing social media accounts

Rationale

  • Social media does contain security risks which need to be addressed when accessing the accounts within the work environment, and often in a personal use of social media capacity, as some networks do not allow a distinction between them. Also refer to Information Privacy Act 2009.

Implications

  • Direct access to State Government social media accounts should be restricted to a very limited number of skilled social media officers. All other activity should be conducted through a social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social
  • Agencies should establish a central register of official social media accounts detailing:
    • social media channel
    • the account’s purpose
    • area/division that manages the account
    • officers authorised to access the account
    • account holder details sufficient to enable continuity of access by the agency
  • All computers and devices that access social media channels should be fully updated for:
    • the operating system
    • software such as Java and Adobe Flash
    • browsers including at least one alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer
    • security suites.
  • These computers and devices should be password protected to prevent unauthorised access including personal devices or home computers.
  • Devices that can be lost or stolen (phones, tablets, laptops) should have remote tracking and wiping software installed where possible.
  • Social media management systems that are used to manage Queensland Government social media accounts should not be used for personal accounts, even if the service has the capacity to separate personal and work account management.
  • Email accounts that are associated with social media channels should either be official email accounts controlled by the social media team, or if they are webmail accounts (e.g. Gmail), they should use two factor authentication. All social media accounts should use two factor authentication when possible.
  • A password manager should be used and unique, complex passwords generated for each social media account (and webmail if necessary). Passwords should never be written down, only managed using the password manager.
  • All social media passwords should be changed if there is a change to social media staff as per agency procedures relating to social media passwords.
  • Two factor authentication should be also be implemented wherever offered on a platform by platform basis. While doing so will add complexity to the ongoing operation activities of posting to channels, business continuity in the event of staff changes etc., security of social channels is paramount to avoid unwanted, fraudulent exposure for Government wherever possible.
  • Social media channels should never be accessed using “kiosks” or other untrusted, shared devices.

Risk assessments are undertaken prior to implementation of social media and is actively identified and managed

Rationale

  • The use of social media can expose the Queensland Government to risks and compromise compliance with policy and legislation. Prior to the establishment of official social media accounts, agencies should conduct a risk assessment, ensure appropriate documentation of requirements is in place and mitigating actions established. Refer to the Implementation Checklist
  • There are a number of areas of risk that need to be managed during the official use of social media by the Queensland Government - risks of:
    • intellectual property infringement
    • inadvertently compromising compliance with legislation
    • staff using official accounts inappropriately either with malicious intent or inadvertently or through misrepresentation
    • customers compromising with legislation
    • privacy breach
    • malicious attack from outside of the government.

Implications

  • It is the responsibility of the social media team to ensure that mitigation is in place, or that the risks are acceptable. A risk assessment of social media activities needs to be undertaken and continuously reviewed especially as social media channels evolve, government activities change or external events dictate.
  • Whilst there can never be a complete mitigation of risk due to the unforeseeable, the majority of risk can be migrated by using appropriately trained and skilled staff, following security protocols and adopting a robust moderation and community management approach.
  • It is also recommended that a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) be completed when selecting social media platforms or when creating a new social media account.
  • In the event of an emergency, the primary agency shall take the lead, if the agency in question does not have social media they may nominate the most appropriate accounts to disseminate important information such as the Queensland Police Service or AskQGOV channels.
  • When setting up a social media activity, an emergency scenario should be considered within the risk planning and resourcing. An emergency response plan should be prepared in the initial planning stages.

Social media accounts that require closure will provide adequate notice to customers including alternative contact points

Rationale

  • Making the decision to close a social media account should not be taken lightly but one may be closed for any number of reasonable reasons. Examples include changes in strategic direction, lack of uptake by audience, resourcing restrictions and lack of available content. Accounts should not be left abandoned as this presents an unprofessional and potentially damaging risk to the Government.
  • If possible, accounts that can be merged or updated as an alternative to closure should do so to avoid disruption to customers, and this should be communicated clearly to the community.

Implications

  • Where it has been identified that a social media account should be closed, the existing community should be advised via the account both the reasons for closure, and options for further communication or engagement. It is also important that public records within the social media account are retained. Where social media is used primarily for marketing, for the most part information disseminated through social media platforms would constitute a low risk short term value record. However, where social media is used to engage with customers or provide services, these records will need to be managed and preserved for the length of time required to meet an agency’s evidentiary and accountability requirements. Time periods for this will vary and agencies should check the relevant retention and disposal schedule for guidance.
  • The amount of time from closure announcement and actual deletion of the account will vary depending on the size of the established community and the strategy to migrate the advocates to alternative more appropriate channels or accounts. Two weeks is the minimum amount of time required.

All social media interactions and posts will be apolitical, impartial and professional

Rationale

  • The Queensland Public Service should maintain its impartial, apolitical, professional nature while maintaining social media accounts.

Implications

  • Accounts should avoid any statements that might be interpreted as advocating government policies, or criticising the policies of political parties or groups.
  • There needs to be a clear distinction between an agency social media channel, and a ministerial or political channel.

Effectiveness measures and improvement

Effectiveness of social media service delivery should be monitored to identify potential improvements

Rationale

  • Social media success is only partly the product of the correct platform. No matter which platform is used, it is the community that shapes an effective strategy. In order to understand how customers want to interact, continuous review and modification of approach is required.

Implications

  • Any activities undertaken through social media should be reviewed and collated to identify success and failure patterns.
  • Monitoring of the overall ecosystem (beyond official social media accounts) should be undertaken to identify trends and opportunities to engage more effectively with the community.
  • Monitoring of the broader online ecosystem, such as social media, traditional media and forums, can be used as a source of business intelligence to inform organisational strategy. One way that this can be achieved is through using third party social media listening tools.
  • Changes/ upgrades within the physical networks and service platforms need to be monitored to identify any impacts in the customer experience.

Social media is to be measured via identified goals and customer satisfaction metrics, traditional metrics are a guide only

Rationale

  • Traditional social media metrics such as likes and followers can easily be manipulated and do not provide an accurate picture of the effectiveness of a social media account. Success measures should be developed alongside goals and outcomes.

Implications

  • Likes and followers should only be used as a general indication of success. Continued growth in numbers does in the majority of cases indicate a successful account but does not necessarily correlate to the effectiveness or achievement of outcomes, also known as ‘active engagement’.
  • Each social media account or community will have different goals and hopes for outcomes, and these should be identified prior to launching or engaging in activity and used to measure success.
  • There are various tools available to monitor social media. Tools should be selected based on matching their particular strengths with the needs of the social media presence. For example, Spredfast is a great tool to analyse metrics for brand awareness. It is recommended also that a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) be undertaken.
  • When considering metrics take into account:
  • Conversion goals that are defined by driving customers to do something such as visit a website, ask a question, share an update, etc. This is the primary goal of most social media activities and should be weighted heavily when accessing success.
  • Reach metrics are when customers amplify your messages by repeating them across their own networks. These may include “likes” or “retweets” These engagements are clear indicators that people are responding to the content and in turn acting to promote the message, this is a great indicator of content successes and failures.
  • Amplification metrics build upon reach metrics. An amplification metric captures instances when people further engage with the content and add their own context to the message. Instead of simply clicking like or retweet the customer may take the message and build upon it for their own network. This metric can reflect sentiment as this interaction may be positive or negative. Either way this is a valuable insight into customer engagement as it illustrates their feelings and highlights terms or language that can inform future content development.
  • In alignment with Queensland Government Customer Experience principles, wherever possible, customers should be encouraged to submit customer satisfaction surveys and key terms should be identified that give indication of level of satisfaction provided directly in the social media platform.

Regularly review the social media platform to ensure it is still relevant

Rationale

  • It is important to ensure that the most appropriate social media channel is used.

Implications

Review

The Social Media principles should be reviewed annually by OSSSIO with input from all Queensland Government agencies and entities, including franchise teams and agency coordinators.

Appendix A

Selecting the right social media platform for the outcome required

The following are some suggested steps as a guide for selecting the right social media platform (also refer to Implementation Checklist):

Step 1 Create social media objectives and goals

Identify and establish the objectives and goals that are hoped to be achieved. Without this there is no means of gauging success or proving social media return on investment. These goals should be aligned to the broader marketing strategy which should support the business goals.

The SMART framework is useful to assist in setting goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

An example of a SMART goal is:

‘For Instagram we will share photos that communicate our company culture. We will do this by posting three photos a week. The target for each is at least 30 likes and 5 comments.’

Step 2 Conduct a social media audit

It is essential to conduct a social media audit to help identify and assess how the current social media platforms are working. This means identifying who is currently connecting with the business via social, which social sites your target market uses, and how your social media presence compares to your competitors. An example of the social media audit template can be found online.

Step 3 Select the appropriate channel

Social Media

Description

Example

Facebook

  • General social media site and application
  • Able to share photos, videos and links to online content
  • Able to “like” people, statements and things
  • Able to connect with other users as “friends” to see their content in individual news feed
  • Interact with other users by mentioning their names in posts
  • Able to join groups with similar interests
  • Able to host events and invite users
  • Able to share other users’ content
  • Hashtags act as metadata and help to boost posts popularity

We will run targeted ads on Facebook to get 25-34 year olds to visit our “Slow Down Stallion” website, watch a video and share the link with their friends. We will post the link on our Facebook page and encourage users to comment on the video.

Twitter

  • General social media site and application
  • Able to share short, 140 character text updates, along with videos, images, links, polls etc.
  • Able to follow other users, to receive notifications of their tweets
  • Interact with other users by mentioning their usernames in your posts
  • Retweet and share other users’ content
  • Hashtags act as metadata and help to boost posts popularity

We will tweet out traffic reports or missing person notifications with targeted hashtags to notify people in the area

Instagram

  • Visual and creative focused social media application (primarily) and site
  • Users are able to share pictures and videos
  • Able to follow other users, to receive notifications of their posts
  • Able to “love” or share other users’ content
  • Hashtags act as metadata and help to boost posts popularity

We will ask our Park Ranger team in the Daintree to post daily photographs showing the beautiful plants, animals and nature that they encounter on the departmental Instagram. The beauty of the area will encourage people to engage with us and promote the region and our conservation efforts.

Snapchat

  • Visual focused social media application, predominately used by younger users
  • Users are able to share “snaps” i.e. pictures and videos that are available for ten seconds at a time to connected users.
  • Or, if posted to the “Stories“ section of a user’s account, the post will last for 24 hours before deletion
  • Able to follow other users, to receive notifications of their posts
  • Hashtags act as metadata and help to boost posts popularity
  • Refer to * below regarding the retention of Snapchat public records

We will run a cheeky, funny  and sharable Snapchat campaign to make 18-24 year olds aware of changes to motor cycle registration laws

LinkedIn

  • Professional social network that enables employers and job-seekers to connect.
  • Users are able to “connect” with colleagues and current or previous employers
  • Able to join groups with similar interests
  • Able to share pictures, videos and online content and make statement posts
  • Able to host events and invite users
  • Hashtags act as metadata and help to boost posts popularity

We will create a professional event and invite all LinkedIn users that are members of the “Queensland IT Professionals” group and ask for their input on our new digital strategy

YouTube

  • Video-sharing social media site and application
  • Users are able to share videos on their “channel”
  • Able to follow other channels, to receive notifications of their posts
  • Able to like or dislike videos
  • Often used as educational tool as well as creative tool

We will post our hilarious “Sun Mum” ads on the corporate YouTube channel. Our channel’s followers will like and share the link to our video to their friends as the ads are funny.

* Capturing records from Snapchat can pose difficulties due to the nature of the application. Where public records are created to engage with customers or provide services, these records will need to be managed and preserved for the length of time required to meet an agency’s evidentiary and accountability requirements. Time periods for this will vary and agencies should check the relevant retention and disposal schedule for guidance. These records will need to be created externally to the application.

Step 4 Create/Update social media accounts

Setup the social media presence via the allocated channel/s and set them up to assist with search engine optimisation (SEO).

It is important to ensure that a content marketing plan has been developed to assist in promoting the business, service or campaign.

It’s also important to test, evaluate and adjust the marketing plan to ensure your online presence is still successful.


Last Reviewed: 17 August 2018