Community Building – Social Media

Corrections Corporation of America builds an arresting Facebook presence

With conversational posts and prize giveaways, among other inducements, it gains fans by the hundreds every month. It also gained a Ragan award.

The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) had a challenging task indeed. It was the first to admit that its brand isn’t as “likable” as others. Regardless, its team took on the task of launching a Facebook presence to develop a positive community and, perhaps, change people’s perspective on CCA.

Most of CCA’s employees are corrections officers, which posed another challenge, as they are unable to access technology during work hours. Most don’t sit at desks with access to computers and, for security reasons, may not bring phones into the facilities.

CCA took these challenges into consideration and created social media guidelines. Initially, posts were focused on company news, awards, and press releases. Posts were infrequent. CCA understood that to reach more people and share its story, a clear strategy was necessary—CCA needed to give its audience a reason to engage. The CCA Facebook team now sees a growth rate of 200 to 400 new fans per month, unheard of in its industry.

CCA’s strategy consisted of more frequent posts—30 to 50 posts about CCA as well as occasional weekend posts. Responding to issues quickly, using conversational language, and creating a fun dynamic between audience and posts keeps its fans coming back for more. CCA also features random but regular prize giveaways for trivia questions and milestones. The institution also strives to recognize fans through a “Fan of the Month” program; it posts recipients’ photos and includes a narrative about their connection to CCA. They also receive special swag. Updates also consist of photos to connect with employees and families.

If a corrections system can make its Facebook presence, there are no excuses for other companies not to engage an audience on the social network.

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