State Department bureau spent $630,000 on Facebook ‘likes’

Photo - (Thinkstock Image)Washington Examiner- by Michal Conger

State Department officials spent $630,000 to get more Facebook “likes,” prompting employees to complain to a government watchdog that the bureau was “buying fans” in social media, the agency’s inspector general says.

The department’s Bureau of International Information Programs spent the money to increase its “likes” count between 2011 and March 2013.  

“Many in the bureau criticize the advertising campaigns as ‘buying fans’ who may have once clicked on an ad or ‘liked’ a photo but have no real interest in the topic and have never engaged further,” the inspector general reported.

The spending increased the bureau’s English-language Facebook page likes from 100,000 to more than 2 million and to 450,000 on Facebook’s foreign-language pages.

Despite the surge in likes, the IG said the effort failed to reach the bureau’s target audience, which is largely older and more influential than the people liking its pages. Only about 2 percent of fans actually engage with the pages by liking, sharing or commenting.

In September 2012 Facebook also changed its approach to users’ news feeds, and the expensive “fan” campaigns became much less valuable. The bureau now must constantly pay for sponsored ads to keep its content visible even to people who have already liked its pages.

Another problem with the bureau’s social media outreach is a lack of strategy for reaching the right audience, the report said.

“The absence of a Department wide PD [public diplomacy] strategy tying resources to priorities directly affects IIP’s work. Fundamental questions remain unresolved. What is the proper balance between engaging young people and marginalized groups versus elites and opinion leaders?” the IG said.

Not only does the bureau lack its own social media strategy, but various State Department bureaus have more than 150 social media accounts that are uncoordinated and often overlap, according to the IG.

See the Documents Here:

http://washingtonexaminer.com/state-department-bureau-spent-630000-on-facebook-likes/article/2532629

6 thoughts on “State Department bureau spent $630,000 on Facebook ‘likes’

  1. It’s a pretty pathetic situation when a government has to bribe people to pretend that they actually have some support from the people they rule.

    Our government has absolutely NO support from anyone who knows what’s actually going on in the world. Only the TV-brainwashed have any desire to see this government last another day.

    You only have to talk to people to see that’s the case. Pick any stranger at random, engage him in conversation, and you’ll see the same thing over and over. EVERYONE wants this government stopped, but most are afraid to say it out loud, and that fear is proof that we’re living under tyranny.

  2. No one is surprised that the government lies to you. Why should anyone be shocked to find out that they actually pay for the privilege to do so.

    People believe that the internet and Facebook are so open and free that the powers that be should have no influence to control over what happens there. This is exactly why they want so much to have that influence and control.

  3. “Not only does the bureau lack its own social media strategy, but various State Department bureaus have more than 150 social media accounts that are uncoordinated and often overlap, according to the IG.”

    Fakebook may be a ‘social media’ for those who post there (barring paid trolls), but insofar as the so-called ‘government’s’ intentions for it, it’s about as anti-social as any media can be.

    I’ve never indulged, never will.

    1. Yep #1, if you got to be a member then you know that they are up to no good when it comes to social media ya know. I refuse to have anything at all with those places like facebook or google or twitter etc. if I can avoid them.

      1. I sure by this time the so-called ‘govt.’ has all the intel they need on me already, digger.

        But that’s not the point, as far as I’m concerned.

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