2020 has undoubtedly been a tough year, with government social media use having higher stakes than ever before. Yet, despite all the challenges, most government organizations continue to do great work on social media—leveraging social platforms to not only provide crucial information and help citizens deal with current issues, but also shine a spotlight on actions and events that are worthy of celebration.
With that in mind, here are five examples of government organizations making very effective use of social media in 2020.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people have turned to the Internet for health information and advice. And while there are certainly a lot of untrustworthy sources spreading misinformation, there are also credible organizations offering useful advice. One obvious example is the CDC, which has used social media very effectively to discuss topics related to the pandemic. It has very large followings (and provides great content) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but it’s use of YouTube in particular is worth highlighting. The CDC hosts regular live Q&A sessions where people can have their COVID-related questions answered.
2. New York City Department of Education
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many schools to embrace a new and unprecedented learning environment. And in this new reality of online learning, many schools, school districts, and departments of education made very successful use of social media as a means of bringing people together and creating a shared space for collaboration and communication. One great example is the New York City Department of Education, which has consistently shared great content on social media and sees a lot of active engagement from its followers. On June 30, 2020, the department even live-streamed a virtual graduation event across all of its social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter). Guests of the live event included Jennifer Lopez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pitbull, Kenan Thompson, Nick Kroll, Angela Yee, Tina Fey, and Andy Cohen.
3. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
We’ve discussed the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission before, but since its social media content is so good, it is worth mentioning the agency again here. While safety information and official posts about product recalls can sound boring, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has managed to create a distinctive online voice that injects some unexpected humor into safety-focused content. Its use of imagery is especially creative, so if you’re looking for some inspiration to help you turn a simple post into something that’ll really attract attention, this agency’s social channels are worth checking out.
4. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Few government agencies and organizations have the sort of mindblowing content that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has to work with, but there is still no denying that it makes optimal use of its photos and videos. Its live streaming of astronauts being launched from American soil aboard a SpaceX craft provided wonderful moments of joy and optimism, and it continues to stream great live content on a daily basis. Simply visit the official NASA YouTube channel for a list of all live and upcoming events.
5. U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
The U.S. Department of Defense has a massive online following, with nearly two million followers on Facebook and more than six million on Twitter. The DoD also has the @DOD_Outreach handle on Twitter, where it shares information related to military outreach efforts. Predictably, a lot of that has recently centered around COVID-19. Overall, the Department of Defense does a great job of balancing educational and serious content with lighter, more inspirational content.
Looking for more great content? Read 10 Forms of Online Harassment Your Government Agency Should Look Out For and 13 Tips for PIOs and Government Social Media Managers Dealing with COVID-19. Or Download The Government Guidebook to Electronic Records Management for FOIA & Open Records Compliance.