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U.S. Trade and Development Agency Launching a Social Media Program With Limited Resources

U.S. Trade and Development Agency Launching a Social Media Program With Limited Resources

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U.S. Trade and Development Agency Launching a Social Media Program With Limited Resources

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  1. U.S. Trade and Development AgencyLaunching a Social Media Program With Limited Resources Steve Lewis U.S. Trade and Development Agency June 20, 2013

  2. Overview • Thinking like a marketing consultant • Developing a communications plan • Gaining support from your leadership • Streamlining your available platforms • Branding and Marketing • Training and briefing • Implementation • Going big – Twitter Chat Series • Lessons learned and takeaways

  3. USTDA’s Mission • USTDA helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies • USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries

  4. Thinking like a marketing consultant • Meet with your program staff and identify a communications objective • Gain a clear understanding of your organization’s mission • Find out who you are trying to reach (know your target audience) • Listen to what your audience is saying and follow organization partners • Ask IT for access to web analytics

  5. Develop a communications plan • Elements of your communications plan should give your agency staff a clear understanding of how you’re going to use social media to conduct public outreach. • Identify your target audience • Provide strategies and tactics (monthly themes?) • List the platforms you’ll use • Provide draft tweets, posts, etc. • How will you measure success? Analytics?

  6. Gaining support from your leadership • Review your communications plan with your leadership (including General Counsel) and ensure they are all on the same page • Discuss the benefits of social media • Use leaders to get help from program staff • Provide examples from partner agencies • Share goals and short term objectives • Provide an implementation schedule

  7. Streamline your platforms No need to come out swinging. Keep it simple and open accounts on platforms you know you can easily manage and monitor. • When in doubt, start out with Facebook and Twitter • Stick to approved platforms (Terms of Service) • Don’t open an account without developing a plan to communicate first • Go where your audience is

  8. Marketing and Branding • Implement consistent branding amongst your platforms (same colors, font, cover photos, etc.), then start marketing! • Get staff members to put social media icons in their signature blocks • Insert your icons (Add This) on your website • Include social media addresses on flyers, briefing materials, business cards, etc. • Ensure contractors do the same • Include social media in press releases and get your senior leaders to somehow mention in it during speaking events

  9. Training and Briefing • Before you kick-off your social media program, get in front of your organization and talk about what to expect. • Enlist the help of organization subject matter experts to provide data and info for tweets. You can develop bigger strategies just by meeting with SMEs to talk more about agency objectives • Discuss what a 12-month themed social media schedule will look like • Find out what monthly themes already exist? (World Trade Month, Small Business Week, etc) • Discuss what’s going to happen once you start tweeting, posting, etc

  10. Implementation • Now that everyone is on the same page, it’s time to implement your social media program. • Start with a couple posts a day • Stick to your communications plan • Use a service like HootSuite to simultaneously manage posts • Use RSS feeds to your automatic advantage! • When in doubt, share and retweet • Draft and pre-load posts in case you get busy

  11. Going Big – Twitter chat series • USTDA hosted a Twitter Chat series during May’s World Trade Month • Partnered with 10 Trade, Export and Finance related agencies. Featured Business USA • Developed a digital marketing strategy to promote event. • Landing page and blog posts extended reach • #TradeChathashtag trended twice in the DC region during the events • Twitter Chat series doubled USTDA’s normal website visitor traffic during the month of May • Series brought increased awareness to the services provided by TPCC agencies • Created first TPCC federal social media working group/List serv for future events • Series gained interest with foreign government agencies looking to do the same thing in their countries

  12. Lessons learned and takeaways • Start small and set expectations • Stick to your communications plan • Stay updated on the latest #DigitalGov and #SocialGov insight by following the list serv! • Always read the news • Recruit organizational SMEs to help you • Implement a social media policy • Practice with your own personal social media accounts. Don’t practice with your federal accounts. • Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and ask others to provide critical feedback (like today) • Always keep your leadership informed on what you’re up to • Report to your staff on how your program is benefitting the organization • Never stop innovating.

  13. Keep in touch • Steve Lewis • USTDA New Media Manager • slewis@ustda.gov • Twitter: • @stevelewis302 • LinkedIn: • http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevelewis302