The Digital Impact: 3 Things the Marines Can Teach You About Social Media

Publication Date: 06/2010

Source: SO01 Public Relations Tactics
Product Code: 6C-061002
Organization/Author/Firm: Philip Volmar
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A “dream team” of U.S. Marine Corps public affairs officers outlined lessons learned from their navigation of the social media seas in their presentation titled “Facebooking the U.S. Marine Corps.”

The Marines, who have the second-largest government social media presence next to the White House, said that while none of their officers were specifically trained to use social media, the group jumped onboard early on to tell the story of the Corps to the American people.

“We are using [social media] to get our Marines linked with their families back home, to help share in the tragedy of the fallen and to get qualified recruits in front of recruiters,” said Col. Bryan Salas, director of public affairs for the Marine Corps.

Col. Salas said that the Marine Corps, like other organizations, face social media challenges such as privacy, accuracy or copyright infringement. But the Marines learned that by effectively engaging in social media to tell a story — rather than just to inform — an organization can humanize its brand while dispelling misinformation.

Here are some lessons that the Corps learned.