Chapter 7. Social Media Use Should Be Strategic
Whether you use apps.gov or commercial sites such as Facebook and Twitter, social media tools present opportunities for supplementing how we reach our target audiences, such as the public. These tools should never replace official communication channels, such as gsa.gov, for disseminating information. Because these sites evolve at a rapid pace, how to best incorporate them will need to be tailored to your organization’s needs, its business strategy and its overall communications strategy. Remember, agencies must ensure government information is available and accessible to people without Internet connectivity, so you must provide members of the public who don't have Internet connectivity with timely and equitable access to information. This might mean providing hard copies of reports and forms.
Before you start using social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, think strategically and keep these things in mind:
- If you're a GSA employee, be sure to work with the Office of Communication’s social media team (reached at firstname.lastname@example.org) when starting new social media initiatives.
- GSA's social media policy applies to any message written in your official capacity or when communicating about our business and mission.
- Apps.gov provides a host of free third-party tools that have amended “fed-friendly” terms of service agreements. These tools don't necessarily comply with federal accessibility, privacy or security laws out of the box, so it's your responsibility to ensure that they are used in a compliant way.
- HowTo.gov, hosted by GSA, provides federal employees a fast and easy way to create a blogs and use other tools. The tools, including a WordPress blogging platform, comply with all current federal policies on privacy, security, accessibility and others.