West Point shows military precision in its social media approach

For each new or existing department’s social media, Sergeant Christopher Camacho works with them one on one as that is his area of expertise. It’s his job to ensure they follow the policies that are currently in effect.

DT: What about the students? I know you must at times deal with critical information that you cannot have a student tweeting out or a photo. How does that work?

MN: Cadets, like any military personnel, fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. There’s some training that goes into making sure they understand that there is a conduct about themselves not only when they’re in uniform, but out of uniform.

We utilize a chain of command here at the Academy just like any other Army institution.

DT: Do you teach a course on social media or are you asked to go and speak to various classes for that?

MN: There is a course taught that every senior is required to take. It’s called “MX400 – Professional Military Development.”  Inside that course, there is one lesson that addresses information operations. When they get to that block of instruction I am asked to be a guest speaker to talk as a subject matter expert.

Even if I’m not the one giving the class there is course material that is provided to them.

DT: When you are recruiting students, do you know if admissions spends any time looking at their social media presences?

MN: I cannot talk specifically for admissions. They are on our website, they have a link and they provide a lot of information for anyone who is interested in coming to the academy. How to start your packet. What does it take to get your packet together.

We offer a lot of information on our official Facebook fan page. We leverage social media to point you back into the direction where you can find that information.

DT: How would you define social media success at West Point?

MN: I guess for us, success is telling the West Point story and part of telling the West Point story is, “How does a cadet that has a 47-month experience here at West Point graduate as a commissioned leader of character?” In order to do that we have to inform our audience. So we don’t necessarily get bogged down with numbers or metrics.

What we do look at is when we do share something, “What did that do for us?”  “What kind of information or feedback did we get from our fans?”

DT: Is there anything you would like to add?

MN: There is a lot of ongoing conversation in our office. I think that’s what’s been very successful for us, because we have this open-ended dialog every day. Not only does that do us good in terms of what we represent ourselves on Facebook, but it’s a great conversation for constantly growing and developing within our team.

For the full StudentAdvisor.com interview with Major Olivia Nunn, click here.

About Major Olivia Nunn

Major Olivia Nunn was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Chemical in 2001 from Radford University. Nunn has served in several positions in the Army which include; Chemical Reconnaissance Platoon Leader, Battalion Chemical Officer, Convoy Commander, 4th Infantry Division’s Chemical Training Officer, Assistant S3 Operations Officer, Brigade Training Officer, Brigade Unit Status Readiness Officer, Brigade Liaison Officer, Troop Commander of Head Quarters and Head Quarters Troop, 1st Brigade Combat Team and is currently serving as a Public Affairs Officer at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

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