A blog about digital government, communications, citizen satisfaction & engagement, GovDelivery, and other e-government issues

Changes to Facebook great for government

September 21st, 2011 | Posted by GovDelivery in Social Media | Web 2.0 | Web/Tech

By Mike Bernard, Digital Marketing Specialist, GovDelivery

Tomorrow, Facebook will host their “f8” developer conference. It’s rumored that Facebook will roll out some new features that could be very beneficial for government. If reports are accurate, Facebook will release “read,” “listened,” “watched,” and “want” to supplement their hugely popular “like” button. Obviously, Facebook wants to use this information to provide more opportunities to expand their advertising network.

Beyond advertising for Facebook, think about the possibilities for government.

  • You create a useful brochure called “What you need to know about Stafford Loans” and you post it on Facebook. There’s potential for millions of teens to click “read” and share it with their friends who are looking into financing higher education.
  • The Army posts their latest commercial on Facebook and people start clicking “watched”.
  • Your state releases a limited edition license plate or the county zoo has a new Red Wolf exhibit. People click the “want” button to let their friends and family know what they want.

The possibilities are endless! In the September issue of Forbes Magazine, David Kirkpatrick sums it up perfectly, “The ‘meme,’ or idea, can go viral and spread almost instantly to vast numbers, if it happens to strike a chord with the zeitgeist.”*

If Facebook rolls these new features out, the ability spread your message quickly and easily will exponentially grow.  Even if they don’t proceed with these new features, the release of the “subscribe” button last week is making it easier for government to get the word out. With a little bit of creativity when developing content, you can easily produce material that will rapidly spread throughout the social world.

*Want to hear more from David Kirpatrick about how social media is revolutionizing the way we communicate? If you’re in the DC area, and work for the government, you can hear him for free. Get the details here.

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