Social Media Policies and Recommendations

Which tool is right for you and your office? Take a look at the minimum requirements and recommended practices for each to get a better idea of what it takes to use each tool. Once you have identified the tool that is right for you, fill out the account request form and reach out to your Digital Strategist.

Whatever the tool, whether it's for official Service communication or an employee's personal use; we use social media in accordance with Department of the Interior social media policy and digital media guidelines. Our comment policy is enforced on all platforms.

Facebook

Headquarters, Field Stations, Regional Offices

Approved Use
Headquarters, Field Stations, Regional Offices

Posting Frequency

Posting Frequency
Recommended: Multiple times daily
Minimum: 3 - 5 original posts each week

Post Content

Post Content
Recommended: Photo plus 2 - 3 short sentences and a link to more information

Possible Interactions

Possible Interactions
Like, comment, share

Content Accessibility

Content Accessibility
Visible to public
Account required to interact

Twitter

Headquarters, Field Stations, Regional Offices

Approved Use
Headquarters, Field Stations, Regional Offices

Posting Frequency

Posting Frequency
Recommended: Daily or more
Minimum: 3 - 5 original posts each week

Post Content

Post Content
Recommended: 280 characters or less with a link to more information

Possible Interactions

Possible Interactions
Reply, retweet, like

Content Accessibility

Content Accessibility
Visible to public
Account required to interact

Flickr

Headquarters, Field Stations, Regional Offices

Approved Use
Headquarters, Regional Offices

Posting Frequency

Posting Frequency
As content is available

Post Content

Post Content
Recommended: Photo with caption, credit, description and tags

Possible Interactions

Possible Interactions
Favorite, comment, share

Content Accessibility

Content Accessibility
Visible to public
Account required to interact

Resources

Resources
Management Plan (PDF)

YouTube

Headquarters, Field Stations, Regional Offices

Approved Use
Headquarters

Posting Frequency

Posting Frequency
As content is available

Post Content

Post Content
Recommended: high quality video 3 minutes or less with closed captions and bumper

Possible Interactions

Possible Interactions
Like, dislike, comment, share

Content Accessibility

Content Accessibility
Visible to public
Account required to interact

Resources

Resources
Management Plan (PDF)
(FWS only) Bumper | Lower Third

Instagram

Headquarters, Field Stations, Regional Offices

Approved Use
Headquarters

Posting Frequency

Posting Frequency
Daily or more

Post Content

Post Content
Recommended: Photo with short caption, credit and hashtags

Possible Interactions

Possible Interactions
Like, comment

Content Accessibility

Content Accessibility
Visible to public
Account required to interact

Resources

Resources
Management Plan (PDF)

GitHub

Headquarters, Field Stations, Regional Offices

Approved Use
Headquarters

Posting Frequency

Posting Frequency
As appropriate

Post Content

Post Content
Code projects

Possible interactions

Possible Interactions
Follow, download

Content Accessibility

Content Accessibility
Visible to public
Account required to interact

Our Strategy

Facebook: Facebook is our most widely adopted tool for interacting with citizens on social media. Facebook is a visual platform where photos and videos can help catch people’s attention and further our message. Users expect posts to be brief, but interesting and informative. One unique feature offered through Facebook is post targeting. This allows us to public content targeted at specific audiences based on interest, location, language and more.

Twitter: Twitter tends to be less visual than other social networks, though the integration of photos, videos and gifs are becoming more and more common. Twitter requires posts to be 280 characters or fewer and users expect posts to be very brief and to the point. In addition to publishing content, Twitter is a valuable listening tool that allows us to further understand what people are interested in and what is catching their attention. Trending topics help us tap into current trends and stay on top of developing events.

Instagram: Instagram is a photo and video sharing social network that combines visuals with short captions. Users expect content to be consistent and true to the “brand” of the account. The most successful accounts stick to one type of photography -  whether that be landscapes, travel, or in our case, wildlife. We use this account to highlight some of our best visuals from around the country.

Medium: Medium is a visual blogging platform that allows users to follow our account and subscribe to publications. Users expect content to be well written and illustrated with visuals, but not too technical. Some of the biggest draws to Medium are the quick, easy-to-use interface and clean design. As a bonus, Medium provides viewers with an estimated reading time so they know approximately how long the content is before they dive in and start to read. Medium allows us to easily publish content without the requirement of being on the FWS network, perfect for publishing on the go or making quick updates as needed.

Flickr: Flickr is a photo hosting social network that allows users to find and use our vast photo libraries. Many serious photographers use this platform to display their work and connect with others. Users expect high-quality photos, accurate species identification and adequate details.

YouTube: YouTube is a video hosting social network that allows users to find and view videos in addition to embedding them on websites. Users expect high-quality videos that are informative, entertaining and to the point. Our content ranges from quick wildlife clips to fully-produced video pieces.

Linkedin: Linkedin is a business platform that allows users to follow pages and join groups based on interests around networking and professional opportunities. We have a company page on the platform and we post content that contains useful information for those who follow us, engaging people interested in professional opportunities and our work.

Last updated: May 20, 2019