By Vladimír Stanko, Press Department, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic @SlovakiaMFA
Since the follower base of the Slovak MFA (@mzv.sk) Facebook account is quite small (12,140 followers), our main focus is to increase our audience. In the past 12 months we have grown from 6,400 to 11,600 likes. We very rarely boost our posts (and if so with very small amounts – 10-100€) so any big reach is always organic. To achieve this, we try to get viral. Political messages and long texts don’t work. We try to be visually appealing and, therefore, communicate as many messages as possible through videos. We produce them entirely in-house and speakers in them are employees of the Slovak MFA. This also enables us to put “faces behind our ministry,” so citizens can see “real people” behind the institution.
Our goal is to be as succinct as possible and not exceed the length of the videos beyond 2 minutes. During important historical anniversaries (Founding of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, the Munich Agreement 1939, the Prague Spring 1968 or the Velvet Revolution 1989) we produce slideshows of historical images supported by subtitles and background music. If we can’t produce a video, we try to use photos or info-graphics with (as short as possible) descriptions. Sometimes, in the description, we specifically invite people to share our posts in order to increase its reach and share count.
This worked very well, for example, with our post on the International Day of Tourism: we used a gallery of about 30 photos of Slovakia from Shutterstock and asked people to share the messages, so the entire world can see how beautiful our country is (Reach 122k). We also tend to congratulate Slovak athletes if they achieve significant accomplishments. These messages tend to get very high amount of likes but are usually not shared by many people.
From our experience, people best respond to emotionally charged topics – both sad and happy. Two of our three best-performing posts were videos with Kenyan kids from a local school funded by the SlovakAid. In the first video they sang the Slovak Anthem during the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Founding of Czechoslovakia (Reach 210k); in the second they sang a popular Slovak folk song (Reach 408k).
Our second most successful group of posts are rebuttals to various statements from Slovak public figures. Despite being very long in nature, they always attract a number of responses well exceeding the average. Our second most successful post is the rebuttal to MP Ľ. Blaha’s false, manipulative statements about Slovakia’s Security Strategy (Reach 262k).
We very rarely like and reply to comments on our posts. We never ban people from our page but hide comments quite frequently to keep the discussion under our messages civil and constructive