SOCIAL MEDIA LISTENING AND ANALYSIS Spring 2014

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1 SOCIAL MEDIA LISTENING AND ANALYSIS Spring 2014

2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In this digital age, social media has quickly become one of the most important communication channels. The shift to online conversation among citizens presents the federal government with an opportunity to improve how they achieve their missions through effective use of social media. Integrating social media listening and analytics into an agency s digital communication strategy enables the government to operate more seamlessly across digital platforms and ultimately improve their service to constituents.

3 Social Media Listening and Analysis Our Understanding The rise of social media has transformed the way citizens engage with their government. Each day, nearly 2 billion people talk about and engage with government agencies on social platforms. Conversations that used to take place between friends and acquaintances in person now take place on social platforms online. This move to online conversation presents a new set of opportunities and challenges for the government. Developing an agile digital communications strategy that incorporates social media listening is now essential for agencies to successfully achieve their missions. For government agencies, the shift to digital conversation has created an opportunity to increase constituent satisfaction, create more efficient processes and continuously improve their constituent service offerings. Social media and digital technologies can enhance the way the government achieves its missions by providing them with the ability to strengthen their relationships with constituents, more easily identify efficiencies that save resources and improve transparency and accountability for citizens. Through social media listening, government offices now have the ability to gain a deeper understanding of citizen concerns and directly measure the success of communication strategies, all while cultivating a strong base of advocates. This new abundance of social media data also presents agencies with new challenges. The question facing many government organizations is how to leverage social media to help them achieve their goals. Agencies are now tasked with developing a digital communications strategy that compliments an ever-changing social landscape. To be effective, organizations must be strategic about how they use social media as a means to achieve their objectives, versus viewing social media as the objective. Throughout the government today there are a handful of agency programs that have been successful at incorporating social media into their daily operations in innovative and effective ways. However, by and large, this innovation is stalled across the government due to obstacles such as strict social media policy rules and leadership that is skeptical of the value i. Social media is not just a passing trend. It is quickly becoming one of the most important channels of communications and its value to federal organizations has become clear. Now agencies must overcome various challenges and tactical hurdles to develop an approach that incorporates social media as a tool to meet their goals. This white paper outlines Booz Allen s approach to solving the key challenges that government agencies face today when developing a digital communications strategy by leveraging social media listening and analysis to better meet agency objectives and improve their constituent services. Fast Facts 73% of adults use social media. ii 27% of American s online time is spent on social media sites the single most popular online usage category iii 61% of government organizations in North American use social media analytics. iv 60% of organizations use social media analytics for campaign tracking 36% of organizations use social media analytics for customer care

4 U.S. Navy Yard Shooting Case Study: Using Social Media Listening to Manage a Crisis The U.S. Navy has an innovative social media strategy that has driven meaningful results. Their story is proof that even large government organizations can harness social media to more effectively achieve their mission. The U.S. Navy, with the support of Booz Allen Hamilton, has leveraged social media listening tools to develop tailored content proven to resonate with its audiences, determine the effectiveness of their communications efforts and communicate the latest information during a crisis situation. The below case study outlines The U.S. Navy s use of social media listening during a crisis. CHALLENGE: In September 2013, immediately following the tragic shooting at the Navy Yard, the U.S. Navy needed to disseminate accurate information as quickly as possible to Sailors, Navy civilians and family members. Sharing information in real-time and correcting misinformation was a critical component to ensuring safety for all Navy personnel. APPROACH: The U.S. Navy social media team immediately began monitoring conversations on Facebook, Twitter and online news outlets and provided regular updates to senior leadership. The team also used a social media listening tool to determine how people were talking about the incident online, what hashtags were being utilized and where conversations were occurring. Then, the team used this information to take action. They provided accurate, official information to U.S. Navy personnel on social media in an attempt to keep them out of harm s way. Additionally, when an incorrect emergency hotline number began circulating on Twitter, the team immediately identified the misinformation and corrected it. OUTCOMES: Because of the social media listening program that was already established, the U.S. Navy was able to immediately assess the information being shared, correct misinformation, interact with key media, and broadcast accurate information to proper audiences. This real-time data allowed the Navy communications team to optimize its communications strategy as needed and empowered Navy leadership to make quick and informed decisions. Government Challenges Social media listening and analytics can be an effective tool to help federal government agencies to overcome the challenges outlined below. CRAFTING AN EFFECTIVE DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY: For a government agency with constituency services such as call centers, interactive tools and mobile apps that serve a generation of taxpayers that expect to communicate and transact via digital and mobile channels, it is imperative to evolve their digital communications strategy to accommodate these expectations. This presents a challenge to provide a seamless environment where government agencies and citizens can communicate with ease across a variety of platforms. Social media listening and analysis can help agencies understand their audience and provide insight informing what the citizen journey should look like depending on the specific wants and needs of an agency s particular constituent audience. The social listening approach can seamlessly aggregate citizen feedback, saving resources and helping achieve agency outreach goals. 4 Social Media Listening and Analysis

5 FOSTERING A POSITIVE CONSTITUENT EXPERIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING THE SENTIMENT OF CONSTITUENTS TO AGENCY S MISSION, POLICIES OR A PARTICULAR CAMPAIGN: Improving constituent experience and satisfaction is a top priority for government agencies that rely on taxpayer dollars for funding and support. In the past, many barriers have existed that deterred twoway communication and prevented agencies from receiving constructive feedback from citizens. Social media has removed those barriers and allowed for a fluid conversation between government agencies and their constituents. Leveraging a social media listening tool and trained analysts to capture existing online discussion about the citizen s experience with an agency provides insights resulting in actionable recommendations. It can also provide understanding into the constituent sentiment surrounding a particular agency campaign or policy. These findings can inform the agency s external communication strategy to ensure ever-changing constituent needs are addressed. ANTICIPATING EMERGING TRENDS AND MAJOR SHIFTS IN SENTIMENT: For agencies responsible for the health, safety or well-being of their constituents having a finger on the pulse of emerging trends in conversation is critical to success. Social media can be used to not only deliver vital information after a crisis situation has happened, but also act as a first-warning signal to predict trends or activity in the future. Identifying these movements early can reduce the amount of time it takes an agency to react to and respond to these types of situations saving resources and improving the effectiveness of the agency s mission. PROVING ROI ON CAMPAIGN EFFORTS AND MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF AN ORGANIZATION S EFFORTS AGAINST GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: Oftentimes, agencies deploy communication campaigns and initiatives but are challenged to prove the business case for the investment. Though there appears to be a strong correlation, the lack of hard numbers presents a barrier to demonstrating a campaign s success. Social media listening and a team of analysts can align a program s key metrics back to the agency s overarching objectives to support the case for investment. MANAGING CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS ISSUES AND RESPOND APPROPRIATELY: In a world where information travels faster than ever via tweets, texts, and Facebook posts, it is critical for government agencies to have a crisis communications plan set in place in order to disseminate information quickly and accurately to a large audience. Agencies must gain a deep understanding of their audience and how to reach them by analyzing what information is important to them and where they communicate most frequently. Furthermore, having a prepared communications plan in the event a government agency becomes the target of media scrutiny or a criminal investigation is imperative to successfully manage a crisis situation. A strong social media listening strategy can hugely enhance crisis communications management processes and outcomes. Managers can regain control of a communications crisis by leveraging social media to monitor online conversation, assess the dispersion of discussion and identify key influencers driving conversation. This data results in insightful reports with actionable recommendations that can be distributed to senior leadership to ensure an informed team of decision makers are able to keenly navigate the crisis. ESTABLISHING A BRAND VOICE FOR THE ORGANIZATION TO REACH A TARGET AUDIENCE: In an increasingly digital and mobile world, constituents today are constantly fed an overwhelming amount of content to digest each day. Government agencies are challenged to find a way to stand out in a very crowded space to convey their message and ensure their audience is listening. Developing a unique brand voice that resonates with your target audience is essential to effective communication. Leveraging social media listening, an agency can determine what content will engage their audience, when it will resonate best and on what platform. Social Media Listening and Analysis 5

6 fraud insurance health medical immediately hold time follow provided offered work common information government specific lose share provide special claims healthcare medicare great program programs video doctor avoid good thank individual risk taken reduce result professional think check experience loss Our Approach Using social listening technologies and a team of experts, government agencies can gain a comprehensive understanding of the conversations taking place online about their organization and programs by analyzing the wealth of social media data available. Agencies can use these insights to inform a digital communication strategy that reflects the voices and opinions of their citizens, customers and constituents. Booz Allen s approach includes utilizing social listening tools and a team of social media experts to ensure agencies are effectively achieving their program goals and provide organizations with a stronger understanding of their citizens. Posts PM Mar AM Mar 14 Healthcare Fraud 11 PM Mar 15 Medicaid Fraud Social listening tools crawl the social web, collecting online conversation details from sources including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, online news sites and photo sharing sites. The tools then analyze the conversations and visualize the data in a digestible format that allows social analysts to uncover key insights and actionable recommendations. Booz Allen will first employ a team of analysts to identify key challenges and determine what social media analytics deliverable will provide the best solution for the challenge. The team will then leverage social media analytics tools to collect data around the online conversation surrounding the government agency and surface key insights and actionable recommendations to enhance their digital communications strategy. 11 AM Mar PM Mar AM Mar 20 Social media listening tools collect online conversation from across the web and visualize the data in a digestible format, such as the Conversation Cloud and Trend Analysis examples above on the topic of health care fraud, allowing social media experts to surface key insights, trends and recommendations. 6 Social Media Listening and Analysis

7 Our Capability Booz Allen offers a variety of social media listening capabilities and deliverables that are tailored to meet the array of digital communications challenges with which government agencies are faced. Booz Allen s experts will gain a strong understanding of your key challenges and determine which of these deliverables is best suited to help you achieve your goals. Booz Allen social media listening deliverables: INITIAL ONLINE ANALYSIS Our social analysts will conduct a deep-dive into the existing conversation surrounding a government agency to provide a preliminary snapshot of sentiment, competitive landscape and actionable recommendations for moving forward. This evaluation identifies what matters most to your agency s constituents, top drivers of conversation, as well as influencers and insight into how to achieve your agency s objectives leveraging social media communications. ONGOING SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING The Booz Allen team will provide ongoing monitoring of the online conversation surrounding your government organization, its programs and engaged constituents. This allows the agency team to track and identify emerging trends, influencers in the space, crisis situations and shifts in sentiment. The data collected over time supports more informed decisions resulting in more positive constituent experiences and customer satisfaction. TARGET AUDIENCE RESEARCH If your agency is looking to target a new segment for a program, our experts can use a social media listening tool to provide insights about the target a government agency wants to reach most, identifying their top concerns, challenges and habits through social media monitoring. PERFORMANCE METRICS REPORTING Booz Allen experts will align an organization s social efforts back to its overarching objectives to prove the value and ROI of their investment in social media. This will allow the agency to identify top drivers of conversation, what motivates its constituents and tactics to improve services. CAMPAIGN MONITORING AND REPORTING Rather than waiting until the conclusion of a campaign to determine if the efforts met objectives, ongoing campaign monitoring conducted by a team of Booz Allen experts allows your agency to evaluate the reaction to a campaign in real-time to measure the impact and optimize the campaign throughout its duration. CRISIS COMMUNICATION MONITORING Allows your agency to keep a finger on the pulse of conversation surrounding it during a crisis situation to ensure the leaders and decision makers are informed with the latest and greatest information. Your agency will be well equipped to respond quickly and appropriately to control a crisis situation. BRAND VOICE AND CONTENT DEVELOPMENT Establish a brand voice for your government organization that is proven to resonate with your audience. Leveraging social listening tools and a team of trained analysts, Booz Allen will help your agency better understand how constituents are talking about your services and ensure your message will resonate with the intended audience. Social Media Listening and Analysis 7

8 Conclusion Social media has transformed the way citizens engage with their government. Federal agencies now have the opportunity strengthen their relationships with constituents, enhance their constituent services and more effectively achieve their missions by evolving their digital communications strategies to leverage the power of social media listening and analytics. Booz Allen has a comprehensive understanding of federal agencies digital communications challenges and is well equipped to help them overcome these challenges to achieve their missions and ultimately better serve their citizens. REFERENCES i. #ConnectedGov Engaging Stakeholders in the Digital Age. Partnership for Public Service, Booz Allen Hamilton. January ii. Social Media Update Pew Research Internet Project. org/2013/12/30/social-media-update-2013/. 30 December iii. Habeshian, Vahe. Social Media Takes Up 27% of Time Spent Online, Marketing Profs. 19 April charts/2013/10582/social-takes-up-27-of-timespent-online. iv. Digital Services Survey Report. Booz Allen Hamilton. 28 October Social Media Listening and Analysis

9 Contacts Ashley Skyrme Vice President Brian Love Principal Osama Malik Senior Associate About Booz Allen Booz Allen Hamilton has been at the forefront of strategy and technology consulting for 100 years. Today, the firm provides services primarily to the US government in defense, intelligence, and civil markets, and to major corporations and not-forprofit organizations. Booz Allen helps clients achieve success today and address future needs by applying functional expertise spanning consulting, analytics, mission operations, technology, systems development, cybersecurity, engineering, and innovation to design, develop, and implement solutions. Booz Allen is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, employs more than 22,000 people, and had revenue of $5.48 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, In 2014, Booz Allen celebrates its 100th anniversary year. To learn more, visit com. (NYSE: BAH) DSI Greensboro Drive McLean, Virginia

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