Monthly Archives: September 2013


This week, NASA launched its Instagram account. But does government have a place on Instagram?

Good question. I think it does. There is always a place for government, on all platforms. Government has a unique story to tell, one that is too often overlooked, especially at the local level. Just the word “government” gets some bad flack (generally thanks to the federal level).

Social media is a great way to show residents how their tax dollars are being used. Just looking around, we’ve got so much opportunity to share the government story. From public works filling potholes and plowing roads, to police and fire doing community outreach, and parks and recreation. And even getting those unusual or “behind the scenes” look at the inner workings of local government. (Most) local governments work very hard to make sure tax dollars are being appropriately, effectively and efficiently used. Let’s show that, not tell it.

I’ve had a hard time finding local/city government who have dabbled on Instagram. The U.S. Department of the Interior is doing an awesome job on Instagram, showcasing the country’s National Parks. Here’s a cool example of “behind the scenes.”

As with adding any new communications platform, government have another conundrum: who will manage the site? Depending on the platform, social media costs time and money. The more you invest in it, I believe the more resident will get out of it. With 150 million active monthly users, I think Instagram is the place to be to share photos.

There is a lot of potential for local governments here. I hope more take advantage of it.

Facebook Promo change? Awesome.

Up until recently, Facebook did not allow pages run promotions by using Facebook’s features as means of entry. A long while ago, we used the “like this post and win” on a few of our brand pages. It definitely helped grow our fan base from  fewer than 900 fans to more than 2,000. Once we realized this was not in compliance, we stopped, fearing the risk of a ban. I’d hate to leave those brand lovers stranded!

Our online promotions quickly died because it simply became a hassle to run a promotion through a third-party application.

With Facebook’s new change in terms, we can now do this once again without worrying about a ban on our pages. This is great news! Our primary marked for several of our pages are families (one page in particular, families with young children). The indoor play park’s page could once again grow in fans, provide great deals or prizes and increase page engagement.

Like the above article states, our brands, and all brand pages, need to use this newly acceptable feature with caution. News feeds could become quickly over saturated with “comment,” “like” and “share to win” promos. We don’t want to run them too often so people get tired of seeing them, and we don’t want to get lost in the internet clutter.

While it might not have as much use in the city government side of social communications, it will play a role in our social media marketing for enterprise facilities, which are meant to run like businesses.

Even with its drawbacks, I’m still pretty excited to add this back in our tool box.