Social Media Data Deep Dive: Turning Findings into Action

GobiernoUSA, just like USA.gov, is part of a unique effort with a large mission—to guide people to the government information and services they seek. We cover a lot of topics in Spanish via our website, social media platforms, email sends, and contact center. One of the communication channels we focus a lot of attention on is social media, and we routinely measure how our efforts are going.

Screen capture of the GobiernoUSA Facebook page.

We focused first on our assumed engagement power hitter – Facebook, to learn more from its Insights analytics data. By last May, we had reached 26,138 likers and we have steadily grown since February of this year. We’ve done this by:

  • Implementing a systematic approach to the publishing of messages
  • Scheduling during the time of the day where our audience is mostly online
  • Increasing the amount of published posts per day
  • Crafting messaging based on “call to actions” and a more engaging tone

We publish content on various topics, and also wanted to identify which topics resonated most with our audience. Though we believed that we had a good mix of topics, the data told us a different and surprising story. We knew that Facebook’s erratic algorithm could possibly be responsible for some of the reach our posts were getting, but we knew that this couldn’t be the only argument for lower engagement on some posts.

By doing these four things consistently, we were able to almost double the number of our post engagements, and increased significantly the volume of impressions. We knew that investing in Facebook would have big returns, and the data delivered on that effort.

Checking Our Assumptions with Data – Facebook

We created a workflow interface so we could easily sort our social media content calendar with Facebook Insights. We soon discovered that we were sending a great number of messages related to health and consumer money topics, but less on immigration, labor training, education for adults, ESL resources (English as a Second Language), and employment, topics that showed high engagement results.

Checking Our Assumptions with Data – Twitter

Analyzing our Twitter data proved to be a much bigger challenge. We learned that our followers are fickle, while one day some topics resonate well, other days, not so much. We used our same workflow spreadsheet to sort through our tweets, and quickly learned that our money and education topics had the greatest number of impressions, while immigration and voting topics had the most retweets.

The good news with Twitter is that you can send a few more messages in a day without overwhelming your followers, so while we plan to focus more on the topics that resonate most with our audience, we will continue to publish a big mix of topics. Partnering with other agencies and retweeting their content will help us continue to provide a variety of content while offering relevant information for our followers.

Topics We Will Focus More Heavily On

For Facebook, job training, career opportunities, immigration services, and learning English will be the topics we’ll most heavily focus on. We also will continue to reach out to our agency partners letting them know that these topics resonate well with our audience. This is how many successful Q&A’s and Twitter chats have taken place over the years.

For Twitter, we will continue to partner with other agencies on Twitter chats that resonate best for our audience, and while we’ve partnered many times on topics related to health, we’re looking to further engage our audience by doing more active listening on the topics that resonate with them most.

Victoria Wales is the bilingual email marketing product lead at USAGov. This post was originally published on the USAgov blog.

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