Social media, when used effectively, presents unequaled opportunities to share our Army story in an authentic, transparent, and rapid manner — while building more substantive relationships with people you may not have reached through traditional communication channels.
At the same time, the open, global nature of social media creates challenges and presents operational and cybersecurity considerations and concerns regarding online conduct, including cyberbullying, harassment, and privacy concerns. Careful decisions on the best platforms to use will ensure you convey the relevant information via the most effective means as platforms rapidly adapt, age-out, or emerge.
Always have the Three B’s in mind while using different social media platforms.
Identify yourself when appropriate to provide authenticity
Social media is “real life.” Behavior in social media is no different than in e-mail, public speech, classroom lecture, conversation with friends, or a poster on a wall. Anything considered inappropriate offline is also inappropriate online. When in doubt about whether to share or not, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Additionally, the process of sharing will help you strengthen your social community. You should, however, understand what you’re sharing and ensure the values expressed do not conflict with Army Values.
Carry the Profession of Arms as a professional Soldier onto the social media platforms. Encourage feedback and two-way communication. Know your audience and think before you post.
If you decide social media would benefit your command, evaluate each platform to determine where your efforts will have the most impact; you don’t need to use every platform. Additionally, if you can’t maintain your official web presence, it’s best not to attempt to manage a social media account.