Social media is constantly evolving and expanding its reach. In recent years, federal agencies have incorporated a social media presence into their missions as citizen demand for these conduits has increased.
NASA was one of the first federal agencies to embrace social media. The agency won a Shorty Award, given to the best and brightest in the social sphere, for its use of social media to interact with citizens:
Our success stems from inspiring content that connects with people," said David Weaver, NASA's associate administrator for communications. "Our story of science and innovation resonates with everyone. Social media enables us to reach people directly like never before.
In the spirit of transparency, even the most conventional segments of the government have come over to the “dark side.”
Earlier this year, the federal legislative branch set a social media milestone when the entire Senate and 90 percent of the House were officially on Twitter. Citizens now have access to their representatives like never before.
Taking a Social Risk
Much of the delay in the government’s adoption of social media stems from a fear of being outdated before the ball is even rolling. Change within the social sphere moves at a rapid pace, and many agencies have remained faithful to pillars of citizen outreach, such as Facebook.
Recently, a few federal agencies dared to be different by embracing the newest car on the social media freight train: Vine.
Vine is a video-enabled mobile application owned and operated by Twitter. It allows users to tweet six-second snapshots across iOS, Windows Phone 8 and Android platforms. Here are a few agencies and initiatives that have already adopted Vine:
Health and Human Services Department
The White House
US Mission to NATO
CDC National Prevention Information Network
Socialbakers, a social-network tracking and analysis company, released a study that identified Vine as an increasingly influential social media tool:
Tweeted YouTube videos earned a 0.048% Engagement Rate. Compare this to Tweets containing Vine uploads which earned a 0.031% Engagement Rate. That means in the six months since Vine was introduced to social media, it has almost caught up to YouTube uploads on Twitter in terms of engagement. This is amazing considering that for most of its life, Vine was only available on iPhones and iPads.
The rapid rise in Vine’s popularity means agency adoption will resonate with a larger and predominantly younger audience. Mobile technology is an important part of government innovation. Agencies seeking to play a prominent role in the digital future would benefit from joining a mainstream social network like Vine.
If you know of any federal agencies deploying Vine, please let us know in the Comments section so we can add them to our list.