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.

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