If The US Navy Can Do It (Social Media), So Can You

I came across a video presentation from Scott McIlnay, the US Navy’s director of emerging media integration, about the Navy’s social media operations.  It runs about 35 minutes, but is worth the time. 

U.S. Navy: Social Media Integration & Strategy, presented by Scott McIlnay from GasPedal on Vimeo.

Bottom line ... if the US Navy - with all its layers of hierarchy and security concerns - can be moving forward on social media, so can your organization.

In addition to Andy Sernovitz' takeaways, I've highlighted a few things that stood out to me (in no particular order). 

Strategic Framework: Scott calls out the Navy’s strategic framework of Listen, Plan, Engage –the same basic framework Ogilvy's Digital Influence team has used for some time [we've added a few key steps since it was first developed, like Amplify, Optimize].

You're Not Alone: The Navy’s social media challenges sound remarkably similar to many clients':

  • IT security
  • Policy development and implementation
  • Training
  • Measurement
  • Leadership approval.  As Scott says, his team builds support with Navy leadership one best case at a time. [I love this approach!]

3657942692_c5a22c3177 Engage The Troops: It’s interesting to hear how a large and decentralized enterprise manages social media.  Clearly it’s a work in progress – Scott admits as much.  But he also points to things like:

  • Weekly emails to leaders within the organization to update them on latest news, successes, challenges.  Interesting - using email as a compliment to social. 
  • They’ve created a central online destination to house all policies, guidelines, best practices, FAQs, case studies, etc.  In other words, they are removing barriers for their stakeholders to find relevant information.
  • They’ve simplified their entire social media policy down to one pithy phrase that immediately makes sense … Loose Tweets Sink Fleets.  Brilliantly telegraphic and simple.