Geological Agency Wants to Know if Its Social Media Strategy is Working


The agency is looking for a social media analytics service.

The U.S. Geological Survey wants to know if its Twitter feed -- which mostly features nature photos and Earth science facts -- is worth the investment for its social media team. 

The Interior Department agency is looking for an analytics tool that can monitor and measure how well its social media efforts are performing, according to a new solicitation. The agency operates Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts, among other sites. 

Social media analytics software could help USGS "understand the topics being discussed revolving around the research and data we provide," according to the solicitation. 

USGS' current social media stats are inconsistent and don't gauge the agency's overall reach because of the varying reporting methods of each social media service, the solicitation said. USGS' social media team is looking for a "customer-friendly tool" that combines statistics from disparate sources. 

It's unclear why USGS is looking for this new analytics system now, or what its eventual social media goals are. The agency said it would not provide details beyond what was in the solicitation, at least until the award is made.

Currently, its Twitter account often directs its roughly 485,000 followers to its blog detailing USGS research projects, but also includes lighthearted campaigns such as "EarthWords," which aims to regularly define nature-related jargon like "anthropogenic."

Requirements for the social media analytics system include:

  • Allowing for at least five users to access the system at the same time
  • Allowing access "inside and outside of the USGS network at any time at the convenience of USGS personnel"
  • Supporting Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, GitHub, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and any other services the agency decides to use
  • Integrating with Google Analytics to show how social media drives Web traffic to USGS sites 
  • Providing real-time monitoring of social media accounts