A social media first for one of our biggest departments

iPad displaying social media account for Australian defence force


In 2017, our client had found itself in the throes of a growing problem. It had discovered 722 associated public – but unofficial – department social media profiles that were increasing the spread of misinformation, leaks of confidential and internal information, and resulting in media enquiries.

Without a holistic profile and consistent messaging, the pages were impacting the department’s credibility, trustworthiness, brand and identity. The department needed a social media strategy, and with it, help consolidating numerous social media profiles across the department. It was time to act.


Here’s how we did it


Our team first took a stocktake on all profiles across a range of platforms linked to the department. These ranged from social sports groups and official department pages to fake accounts of high-profile members of the department.

After identifying and reviewing all 722 profiles, our team met with key stakeholders to determine which pages needed to be closed, transitioned into private groups, or moved to internal platforms. We then worked with department stakeholders, business managers and customer service representatives from a number of social media platforms to close unnecessary, fake and inactive accounts.

Once left with a handful of credible, official pages, we continued to work with the department to develop and implement a content engagement strategy to ensure the remaining pages and profiles pushed out consistent messaging to target audiences.

Social Media facebook like

RD Consulting organised, managed, and facilitated a social media conference in 2018 with the department to determine recommendations moving forward. We made eight recommendations:

  1. Establish a social media team.
  2. Create a social media playbook.
  3. Implement a training program.
  4. Clean and consolidate social media profiles.
  5. Introduce management software and tools.
  6. Resource social media team to operate autonomously.
  7. Collaborate across the department.
  8. Continue to manage and monitor accounts and profiles.

Following the conference, we assisted the department in implementing all eight recommendations, beginning with establishing a Social Media Hub. The Hub was staffed with five RD Consulting staff and five Australian Public Service (APS) staff handpicked for the team. We set up a functional workspace, bringing in big screens to sit above the desks and display live social media dashboards, a show reel of the latest posts and the department’s content calendar. We also set up an agile wall to keep the team on task and to track the volume of work coming through the Hub. We trained the APS team on a range of social media tools and platforms, writing posts for different channels and audiences and creating reports.


The blended Hub team crafted a content engagement strategy, outlining how official department profiles could use key messaging to engage and build the department’s target audiences. A social media playbook involved writing, delivering, and facilitating feedback from an approval process we set up to ensure back-and-forth communication across multiple department groups. The Hub team additionally managed the profiles of senior leadership and wrote content that had consistent messaging for the newly-consolidated pages. This included content for key department campaigns, milestones and events. We encouraged the ministers of the day to share this content on their individual profiles.

In 2019, RD Consulting planned and hosted a second conference that focussed on further refining the social media strategy and pre-planning content. As the social media team grew, to assist with productivity and to ensure the project consistently met set deadlines, our team introduced a range of reporting tools and mechanisms. This held both us and the rest of the Hub team accountable for targets and tasks. Asana, Talkwalker, Bespoke Reporting and Hootsuite were among the social media management tools introduced. We further provided our client and senior leadership with daily, weekly and monthly project status reports.

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