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US Navy weighs in on Social Media

By Lauren Myatt

Words associated with social media

The United States Navy is the latest large organisation to recognise and endorse the growing indispensability of social media, with a new handbook making it clear that the use of social media by personnel is both ‘authorised and encouraged.’

The guide, which is likely to have been produced in collaboration with a specialist agency, also contains many shrewd insights into effective social media strategy for large organisations.

One such tip is ‘Replace error with fact, not argument’. This reflects the widely held position among social media experts that misinformation and negative comment online should be dealt with honestly and courteously, and that getting drawn into heated debate in the online forum should be avoided at all costs.

As might be expected from a defence organisation, the Navy’s Social Media Handbook emphasises the vital importance of protecting sensitive information, particularly in the post-WikiLeaks environment.

With regards to an organisation’s social media profile and marketing, the advice given is that many heads are better than one: ‘A diverse team managing the page will be more effective than a single person. A single manager is a single point of failure.’

These and other intelligent recommendations on social media strategy have been greeted with surprise and interest by specialists and businesses engaging in social media marketing

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