RENO, Nev. -- Many are familiar with Twitter’s blue badge that verifies official profiles of celebrities, governments and the like, and Facebook is continuing the trend — the social media company will soon roll out its own verified mark for all government pages.
Speaking at the Government Social Media Conference & Expo on April 30, Katie Harbath, Facebook’s head of politics and government outreach, said the Menlo Park, Calif., company is on the verge of updating its code so more governments have a verified page complete with Facebook’s signature circular blue icon with a white checkmark inside.
To improve this — and potentially use verified pages to generate more followers for governments — Harbath said Facebook is working to create a link so officials can request verification themselves.
“As soon as we have that live," she said, "I will make sure to find a way to get it to [governments] to request verifications for your pages."
With or without the coveted checkmark, however, savvy posting practices are the keys for more page likes and more community engagement, Harbath said.
Breaking down the Facebook algorithm, she said the company prioritizes the importance of posts in news feeds based on a five-level judging criteria. From most important to least, these the criteria are:
To harness Facebook’s algorithm for wider reach, Harbath suggested varying the types of posts to engage multiple kinds of users, to post both local and national content to take advantage of trending topics, to upload video directly to Facebook instead of linking to YouTube, and to tastefully find opportunities to ask for followers.
Finally, when it comes to social media metrics, she said to focus in Facebook analytics on the weekly reach measurement, which is the amount of unique visitors that have engaged with a page in the last seven days. This metric, she said, shows the real influence a page has beyond the relatively slow-moving tally of page likes.
Jason Shueh is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.