We know that the majority of Congress have social media presences. We know that many agencies are using social media for more and more innovative efforts. But just as the web became mainstream in the mid-90s and exploded with overnight innovations, there were many entities with a web presence, but no rhyme or reason for why they existed. We need to leverage those lessons learned and apply them to our current social explosion. 

I recently discussed some of the lessons learned from the experience at USGS with our social growth and where we're headed. I also discussed how, just like the web, accessibility needs are just as important with social media as they are with traditional web. Of course, I also talk heavily about having a strategy for things that you do. These are just some of the many facets of the bigger picture of what we, public or private industry, must consider in order to advance our social efforts without repeating the mistakes of the past.

While it's easy for anyone to "go social," it only creates a disservice to your audience, and your organization, if you're doing it without considering those facets. Know what your goals are and let the rest follow in that direction.

Read More in the March issue of The Public Manager