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In this article, we highlight one massive social media user hiding in plain sight — but the truth is, federal governments around the world are proactively using this channel to reach and engage their citizens where they are.
The United States stood out amongst the countries we looked at due to the sheer volume of social media accounts. The United States Digital Service has a registry of all social media accounts from all federal agencies. This gave us our first impression of just how active the federal government is on social media: right now, they’re operating over 9,000 different accounts!
Federal accounts are most typically found on either Facebook or Twitter and while it may feel more mainstream, there are still fewer official Instagram handles than Flickr addresses. On Instagram, the National Park Service operates 45% of all the federal Instagram accounts registered. There were also seven Myspace pages registered and six different Yelp accounts.
For the top performing federal Facebook pages we saw them receiving 3,124% more total reactions than their peers and posting 71% more content on average. While these pages are both more engaging and more active, we wondered: what are some other differences?
The most engaging pages were the most likely to be posting rich media compared to their counterparts. The starkest difference in page performance was the over-reliance on Link and Status posts by lower performing pages. However, there is a consistent need to bring citizens directly to government properties for information or access, and this won’t change. For high priority messages, some of these agencies might consider finding other ways to communicate the same ideas.
Not only do the top ten percent of engaging US Government Facebook accounts receive a higher share of all reaction types as a share of all reactions received, but they also have both higher and richer engagement. Unsurprisingly, the most “Loved” government page is the White House and the most “Angry” was the IRS.
What we are seeing is as true for the government as it is for brands. There’s still an effort being made to speak to citizens in the most engaging ways possible and for now the trend is moving towards richer media. While this can be tougher for those agencies with fewer resources, this is definitely a concern that many brand marketers can relate to. Learn how to best engage with your audience on social media maneuver around these issues with our Social Media Pocket Guide.