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                  the Army. Once those considerations are made, the manager should feel comfortable posting. Thirdly, social media managers should acknowledge those that interact with their post and refrain from being a silent partner. When followers take the time
to interact with a unit’s social media outreach,
they deserve acknowledgment for their time and attention. A simple “like” of a comment can suffice. Finally, post or share content regularly and as frequently as possible. An inactive social media profile’s shelf life is very short, and followers will quickly refrain from visiting or following a page that doesn’t produce content. A good technique for units struggling to create content can simply share other organizations’ posts or posts from Army senior leaders. Sharing Army senior leader posts
is a great way to contribute to the Army narrative without the burden of having to generate original content consistently.
There is, perhaps, no better way to conclude than to directly quote the U.S. Army’s social media page, which asserts the following: “It is time to
get a seat at the social media table. You may be comfortable using social media in your private life, or it may be altogether new to you. Either way, one thing is clear, social media is not going away. Our culture has embraced it as a handy tool for personal and professional communication, and the media is increasingly reliant on social media platforms for sharing news and engaging with their audiences.”
The world has exponentially gravitated towards the use of social media platforms. The demand for instant access to ubiquitous amounts of accurate, relevant, and timely information exists, and
the Army and its leaders are not exempt from those demands. Whether in combat operations attempting to influence a civilian population or in peacetime attempting to inform our own citizens of their Army’s tireless efforts, we must prioritize social media usage and develop a plan to meet
the information demands of its citizens. With the proper training and oversight, we as leaders can ensure our organizations’ success in the social media domain. While there are risks, as in all military operations, an engaged and informed audience’s benefits outweigh those risks. Refusal to accept the responsibility and challenge of operating in the social media space ensures an organization will lose its vote to tell its own story. Nobody will tell your story better than you.
LTC Dudley is the Commander of 2nd Battalion, 39h Infantry Regiment, 165th Infantry Brigade.
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