September 9, 2013

Social media is changing the way organizations communicate with their audience. Integrating technology, social interaction, and content creation, social media is an online communications tool that helps facilitate communication and collaboration. It is an increasingly popular business tool for sharing information with diverse stakeholders and a vehicle for receiving and addressing customer suggestions and complaints. Organizations can become more engaged than ever with their audiences by using social media to create and share content. 

The U.S. Postal Service first entered the social media scene through a Postal Service Stamps Facebook page in 2009 and, subsequently, created Business and Human Resources recruitment pages on Facebook. The Postal Service ventured into Twitter, YouTube, and smaller social media sites by 2011 and currently has a web presence on 18 social media sites. The Postal Service uses these platforms to enhance communication, provide a forum to solicit customer feedback, and provide a human resources portal for college students and prospective employees. The content on these sites has generated 72,073 Facebook likes, 9,464 Twitter followers, and 304,979 YouTube views as of June 11, 2013.

We determined that opportunities exist for the Postal Service to strengthen its use of social media and enhance customer engagement via specific blogs or additional social media sites. This would allow the Postal Service to better communicate with, and obtain input from, various stakeholder groups. It could also benefit from having subject matter experts assist in responding to stakeholder comments and more effectively linking various sites for easier navigation and cross-referencing to maximize its visibility to stakeholders. The Postal Service could also share analytical reports and data with other social media dedicated groups and evaluate how social media can be used effectively within a comprehensive customer care program. Feedback from stakeholders suggested the Postal Service create blogs or additional social media sites tailored to specific industry groups, such as those in the mailing industry.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on the Postal Service’s use of social media. Can the Postal Service do more to engage its stakeholders? Let us know on our blog.

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