U.S. federal government pages on Facebook mostly follow accepted practices for customer satisfaction.
So concludes ForeSee, a firm possibly better known for its compilation of the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
The government version of this quarterly index came out today, analyzing the following federal departments:
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Defense
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Justice
- Department of Labor
- Department of State
- Department of the Interior
- Department of the Treasury
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Veterans Affairs
And here are ForeSee’s findings for Facebook:
- All 15 departments have a Facebook presence.
- All of them are using at least one standard Facebook application (notes, discussions [at least until October 31], photos, links, events, videos).
- 11 of the 15 departments’ Facebook pages include custom pages or third-party tools (YouTube, Flickr), which are devoted to content that the departments want to feature, as well as comments, policies, and welcome statements.
- All 15 pages have vanity addresses and official names that reflect the proper name of the departments or their elected leaders.
The report also offered a set of best practices for government agencies using Facebook, including:
- Only include applications if they will be consistently maintained, and turn off standard applications if associated content has not been provided (11 of the 15 agencies complied with this).
- Use a separate tab to house policies on comments if those policies are too long to fit in a standard field, or if they are longer than two paragraphs (four agencies did this).
- Vanity URLs should reflect the official name of each department or the official leading it (all 15 were in compliance).
ForeSee President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Freed said:
Social media is no longer a nice to have, but a necessity in both the private sector and the public sector. It’s just the way people communicate now. The good news is that federal departments are participating in social media; the bad news is that efforts are happening at a variety of levels, and the effect can be muddled for citizens.
Readers: What have your experiences been with the Facebook pages of government, agencies, either U.S. or overseas?
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.