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5/10/2010
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Joint Chiefs To Increase Social Media Use

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff details a four-tiered strategy to increase the number of people he can reach via Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.

The Department of Defense’s Joint Chiefs of Staff office plans to bolster its use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to communicate its activities publicly under the directive of Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, according to an internal memo.

Mullen has both a Facebook Page and a Twitter account, and both have helped him increase engagement with the public, according to the memo, called The Chairman’s 2010 Social Media Strategy and released in March. The memo was posted on the Department of Defense’s Social Media Hub Web site last week.

However, this engagement usually comes after news out of the Joint Chiefs office occurs, because information from press releases, the Joint Chiefs Web site and the Pentagon Channel videos is merely repurposed for Facebook and other social media.

This sort of engagement is not enough, according to the memo, which outlines a four-tiered plan in which Mullen will change the way he uses social media.

To better engage with the public, Mullen will begin having interactive conversations with people following him on Twitter and post more personal content about himself.

Specifically, the memo said that Mullen should begin sharing in his tweets information about books he’s reading or what he did during time off on his weekends. This will help foster more of a two-way conversation between Mullen and the public, according to the memo.

The memo also sets goals for the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s social-media activity that should be reached by September 2010. Among them are to send two personal tweets a month, develop video capability for the chairman’s trips and events so video can be posted on Facebook, and to modernize the office’s podcast.

As the second tier of the plan, Mullen will align the content created for social media with his priorities for his position and ensure that his entire public affairs staff involved in creating content for Facebook and Twitter. This will include adopting an attitude to be “iPad and Kindle friendly,” knowing that more people will be using those devices to read online content, according to the memo.

The Joint Chiefs office also wants to use social media as a driver of discussions and public conversations, not merely as an echo chamber for other forms of Internet content, according to memo. To do this, Mullen plans to expand his online presence by choosing more social-media sites to participate in.

He also has set goals for the next six months to increase page views for the Joint Staff website, boost the number of friends he has on Facebook and increase the number of followers he has on Twitter, according to the memo.

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