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Q & A Interview: USAF

4 September 2009

Email interview with U.S. Air Force Chief of Emerging Technology Capt. Chris Sukach

1. Situation Analysis – Background questions/motivations for using Twitter.
* When did your organization set up its (first) Twitter account? How many accounts do you have?

  • One.  We gathered the others as we went along to ensure it was the AF actually speaking from AF-handles.

* Why did your organization choose to engage with the Twitter community?

  • We wanted to participate in the conversation.

* What is the organization?s history and policy on blogging?

  • We began with a blog on Blogger and then migrated it over to an official DoD server once that server was established. (See New Media Guide for references to blogging)

* Why should people follow you?

  • So they can talk directly with an official AF resource.

* In your opinion, why might they unfollow you?

  • We sometimes speak in an impersonal tone.  We’re working to change that.

2. Planning – Strategy behind Twitter adoption.
* How did you pick the person who manages your Twitter account?

  • We currently only have three people in our social media office, so we manage them together.

* How do you integrate Twitter with your overall marketing/communications
plan?

  • We’re just another outlet/tool in which to communicate & engage in conversations with our various audiences.

* How do you promote your Twitter account (such as email signatures, links from website, etc)?

  • We’ve recently updated our homepage to include buttons to our social media efforts: http://www.af.mil/

* How do you manage, or not manage, the approval process by legal, pr &
marketing?

  • We are PR for the AF.

* What is your policy on following? Replies? Directs?

  • (See New Media Guide)

* What is your organization?s social media policy for employees?

  • (See New Media Guide)

3. Implementation – How Twitter was implemented/applications used.
* Who tweets for your organization and how are they chosen? Is their identity made public on your Twitter profile? If not, why not.

  • (Please see the first answer to Question 2)
  • Since three of us update to the various accounts, we’re working to include quick bios about each of us & mark our tweets with initials so people will know which one of us is speaking at that time from that account.

*  How did you develop your Twitter voice?

  • We try our best to be conversational in 140 characters.

* How do you use hashtags?

  • We’ve used them sparingly and associated them with particular events.

* What tools do you use to Tweet? And do you tweet from computer/phone/both?

  • Hootsuite, the web, Seesmic, TweetDeck.

* What auto-Tweet services do you use (eg, TweetLater, TwitterFeed) and why?

  • Typically Hootsuite because it’s web-based and allows for updates to multiple accounts.

* Which link shortener do you use and why?

  • Typically ow.ly or bit.ly–because they’re associated with the tools we use.

4. Goals and measurement – How was success defined and measured.
* What are your success measures?

  • Typically we define it by reach/response.

*  What demographics are you targeting on Twitter? Have you found a generation gap?

  • We haven’t targeted specific demographics.

* How do you see Twitter fitting into your long term communications strategy?

  • As another tool by which to communicate and receive feedback.

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