U.S. Navy Twitter Business Rules
The U.S. Navy Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com/USNavy) also known as
@USNavy) is an official representation of the Department of the Navy on Twitter. The
account provides a means to tell the Navy story, share key messages, and interact with
key Navy stakeholders in real time on issues of interest to them. The account serves as a
public affairs communication tool. It is populated by OI-2 with content from multiple
Disseminate Navy messaging to a wide-reaching Twitter audience in a manner
that encourages them to further distribute and share that messaging with others
Drive conversations about America’s Navy online
Identify and engage key points of contact such as the media, advocates and
Insert the Navy story into relevant conversations on Twitter
Provide an authoritative official voice to followers during a crisis that involves
Content shared on the page should attempt to increase the awareness and understanding
of what the Navy does by sharing valuable content and hosting relevant discussions on
those topics. The content shared should also invigorate followers’ enthusiasm for the
Navy and encourage them to be champions of the Navy’s message within their own
communities. Content should be a mixture of current events and naval history, and should
be aligned with the CNO’s tenets, SECNAV’s priorities and other communication
priorities. OI-22 will maintain the social media schedule.
The tone of the overall @USNavy account should be professional and informative, but
less formal than the tone adopted when using traditional forms of communication. It is
important to draft tweets that are conversational and read as though you were speaking to
other Twitter users (as opposed to the ”faceless” style of a press release). As appropriate,
content publishers are encouraged to be clever in drafting posts to engage stakeholders.
Content publishers should exercise their professional judgment in determining the
appropriate tone and posture to match the subject matter and the audience with whom
they may be engaging.
Roles and responsibilities of content publishers
OI-2 personnel are the primary content publishers of the U.S. Navy Tweeter account. In
addition to publishing tweets, they also engage with fans as appropriate. More
specifically, OI-22 will:
Publish scheduled and approved tweets in accordance with the content schedule
Include appropriate hashtags, mentions and links
Be responsive to current events and changing needs of content to be published
Interact with fans who tweet regarding the U.S. Navy
Congratulate and welcome fans who just joined the Navy
Encourage fans interested in joining the Navy and point them to recruiting
Thank fans for their engagement and for sharing their stories and opinions
Subject matter expertise
OI-22 personnel will inform the appropriate subject matter expert of potential issues of
interest. Any tweets from the public that could provide insight or indicate sentiment on an
important issue outside of OI-22’s subject matter expertise should be copied and
forwarded to the appropriate subject matter expert for further coordination and
Following another account is a critical part of the social dynamic in Twitter. Following
another Twitter account does not signify endorsement (nor does retweeting said account).
Following these other organizations does not mean the people following us will see their
content. It means that @USNavy will receive information from these users, thereby
enabling @USNavy to retweet such content to its followers at the content publisher’s
discretion. It also enables content publishers to send a direct message to that account if
In general, @USNavy will follow:
Other official military and federal government accounts
Twitter users who consistently tweet information that Navy stakeholders would
Media outlets that deliver news and information relevant to @USNavy’s
Current supporters and possible advocates to foster relationships that serve to
build a following of Navy fans that advocate for Navy causes in their respective
communities or spheres of influence
In general, @USNavy will not follow:
Accounts that express as their direct purpose to advocate for a particular political
party or issue
Accounts that express as their direct purpose to solicit sales
Accounts that are not in keeping with family-friendly discourse
If the content of a tweet references information located on another website, the tweet
should provide a link to the original source on the Internet. This also applies to content
that links to an official website or official presence on another social media platform if
available (i.e. linking to an article on Navy.mil or linking to a Navy video hosted on an
official Navy YouTube channel). Content meant to augment a story already posted on an
official source need not be present on another official site (i.e. a short video interview on
the Facebook page that compliments a link to a story on Navy.mil).
All links shared on Twitter should be shortened using the current link shorter.
Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter profiles only display posts made by the user.
Other users may publically respond to the @USNavy account, but those tweets will not
show up on the @USNavy Twitter profile. As a result, there is no need for a comment
Once a tweet is published, it is available on the Internet for all to view and consume. As a
general rule, the Navy will not delete tweets. Deleting tweets is not a best practice, does
not completely remove tweets from the Internet, and can make the @USNavy account
seem deceptive. If misinformation is posted to the @USNavy account, a new tweet
should be drafted to correct the previous tweet.
The @USNavy account uses Twitter’s native archive.
Metrics and evaluations
Twitter Analytics will be used as the main source of metrics and evaluation of the
@USNavy Twitter account. Metrics and lessons learned will be incorporated into future
content planning. Deeper audience analysis will be conducted as needed.
The OI-22 department head is the only authorized user to change settings.
Management in a crisis
During breaking news situations, research and practical experience have shown that the
ability to communicate in real-time through a social media tool such as Twitter is
imperative. Twitter is where information and, in many cases, misinformation first
develops and also presents the best means available to set the tone and drive the
conversation by providing relevant, value-added information that can best communicate
the Navy’s position. It also is an opportunity to establish the Navy as a relevant and
engaged source of information and prevent others from establishing themselves as more
Public, releasable and value-added information about or related to the crisis from official
military and government sources should be shared via Twitter (as well as other official
websites and social media sites). In order to demonstrate the value of the information the
Navy is disseminating, it is important to post relevant information on a regular basis.
Even when there are no releasable updates, simple updates of already public information
(i.e. Navy Fact File data or relevant photos) can still be value-added and continue to
demonstrate the Navy’s commitment to providing information on the subject. Twitter
posts should be tweeted as soon as releasable information is available and not scheduled
for posting at a later date/time, as the information may become out of date quickly during
During crisis situations, all issue managers should monitor the @USNavy account
throughout the day; issue managers will receive dedicated support by OI-22. After hours,
over the weekend, and over holidays, @USNavy should be monitored by OI-22.
#BREAKING News Twitter Best Practices
1. Work with the authoritative source before releasing any information.
a. Tweets should be closely coordinated with the news desk action officer.
b. It is best to start a big breaking story with “#BREAKING: #USNavy
2. Be timely and try to manage the flow of information.
a. Open, timely and transparent messages are key.
b. Use “more to follow” when you know additional information is being
c. Waiting for a press release can take a long time (A typical 24 hour news cycle
can occur on Twitter in 15 minutes.).
d. Work with the action officer to feed confirmed pieces of the official press
release while you are waiting for the final version to be posted to Navy.mil.
3. Identify any widely used hashtags that relate to the story.
a. Before creating our own hashtag, search to see if a hashtag is already being
used for this topic.
4. Continue to monitor.
a. Track trending U.S. and world news and set up a search.
b. Identify and track key media reporting the news. Tag them when appropriate.
5. Correct misinformation.
a. There is no way to correct all misinformation about a given topic or the Navy,
but, if while you are monitoring, you notice trusted news sources are getting
key parts of the story wrong, jump in and correct it. Example:
i. Original tweet – From reputable source with one million followers,
@FakeAccountName: The Navy only has two carriers
ii. Suggested Response – @USNavy: #USNavy actually has 10 active
carriers. More info here LINK. MT @FakeAccountName: Navy only
has two carriers
Refer to the current Navy social media SOP for breaking news for additional guidance.