The State Department LinkTree Alternative.
Brought to you by GPA Mission Website Platforms, Digital Strategy & Training, and Digital Lab.
GPA Digital Lab (LAB) has designed and launched a new product for social media content strategy in collaboration with the Digital Strategy & Training team and Mission Website Platforms (MWP).
Social Links was launched on April 1, 2021 and received valuable feedback during the initial 30-day pilot. We are happy to announce that Social Links is now available for all Missions to use!
What is Social Links?
Social Links is a tool developed and owned by the Department of State that enables Department social media practitioners and content managers to provide their audiences with a secure way to view promoted content. Social Links enhances content strategy in a similar way as other popular tools on the market, such as Link in Bio or Linktree. The Social Links URL is placed in an Instagram account bio to drive traffic towards calls to action, downstream web properties and valuable content that your Mission wants to promote.
LAB designed the first iteration of Social Links with Missions in mind by tailoring features to fit the specific needs of staff in the field based on real user feedback. It was designed as a plugin for WordPress and is already installed on the Mission Website Platform administrative site. It can be activated on your site by request and Social Link pages are hosted as part of your existing Mission website.
Why Use Social Links?
Third-party platforms, like LinkTree, are not FedRAMP approved, which focuses on the security and protection of sensitive federal information within cloud technologies. By creating a State Department-owned version of these tools, Social Links is able provide valuable benefits specific to the Department’s unique needs. They include:
- Security: Using a third-party platform that is not FedRAMP approved poses security risks to the Department. Since Social Links is installed on the Mission Website Platform, it inherits the security standards already in place on your current website.
- Branding: Social Links provides cohesive branding through two style templates that match both the legacy Mission websites as well as the new redesigned sites launched this year.
- Traffic: Using a third-party platform sends valuable traffic away from DOS web properties but because Social Links is hosted on your Mission website, all initial web traffic stays within DOS properties. Since Google Analytics is already in use for your Mission website, you have access to powerful analytics for Social Links as well.
- Access: Mission staff can easily access and manage Social Links through your Mission website administration site.
Requesting Social Links
To request activation of a new Social Links page, please work with your MWP Web Manager to complete this form.
The form will request the following information:
- Post name and primary contact
- Mission website URL
- Which version of MWP you’re on (2021 redesign or legacy)
- Preferred format (grid or list)
- Links to other social properties, like Instagram, Facebook, etc.
- Preferred URL for your Social Links page (Example: https://do.usembassy.gov/embajadausaenrd/ )
- Users that will need access to manage your Social Links page (Note: users that are not approved MWP users will need to complete an extra step requiring management approval to authorize site access; users must also have an america.gov account)
To request additional users for existing posts, please refer to the following instructions document.
User Guides & Training
To ensure you’ll benefit from all the features available in Social Links, the LAB developed a step-by-step user guide with screenshots (refer to the Guide for Social Media Managers section). The LAB also hosted two training sessions for our pilot group, which are available below.
Training Video Recordings:
Contact & Support
For support requests for active Social Links pages, please reach out to the MWP Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For product questions regarding Social Links, please reach out to the Digital Lab at GPA-DIG-Lab@state.gov.