DISLIKE: State Department spends $633,000 to increase Facebook “likes”

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Promoted Facebook pages, we’ve all seen them sitting at the top of our newsfeed trying to make you like their page so they can expand their reach and/or customer base. But what would you do if you logged into Facebook and now a promoted post from the United States State Department?

Well, it’s unclear exactly what type of Facebook campaign the State Department was running, but it seems that many of Americans may have experienced just that. According to a May report from the Office of the Inspector General, the department’s Bureau of International Information Programs spent $630,000 on two Facebook campaigns to increase its number of followers on English-language Facebook pages.

Yes, $630,000 taxpayer dollars. Has Facebook invented a ‘dislike’ button yet? Now would be the perfect time.

TheBlaze.com is reporting:

“The campaigns were successful garnering more than 2 million new followers for each page — up from 100,000 — and it also increased following on foreign-language pages.

But those within the bureau questioned this practice, according to the report.

“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. Defenders of advertising point to the difficulty of finding a page on Facebook with a general search and the need to use ads to increase visibility,” the report stated.

For example, four of the bureau’s English-language Facebook pages are cited as having more than 2.5 million fans by mid-March of this year, but only 2 percent actually are engaged in activity on the pages.

“Engagement on each posting varied, and most of that interaction was in the form of ‘likes.’ Many postings had fewer than 100 comments or shares; the most popular ones had several hundred,” according to the report.

On Facebook, less engagement means less of a chance that any postings will make it onto users newsfeeds informing them of the bureau’s activities.

“This change sharply reduced the value of having large numbers of marginally interested fans and means that IIP must continually spend money on sponsored story ads or else its ‘reach’ statistics will plummet,” the report stated.

The other offices and bureaus of the State Department were found to have more than 150 social media accounts that are “wrestling with the issue of strategy and coordination” and having some overlap issues.”

“The report recommends the IIP “direct its digital advertising to specific public diplomacy goals” that “find the right balance between youth and elite audience engagement.” It also states that a social media strategy should be adopted that actually drives engagement to accomplish the IIP’s goals.

It advocates that the public affairs office for the department work with IIP to coordinate regular meetings that would help get all parties working together without overlap.

The IG report stated that during its inspection the IIP stopped paying for advertising on Facebook as it evaluated its pages and program goals.”

“I don’t like the State Department in any sense of the word ‘like.’ I don’t like it on Facebook, I don’t like it with ham, I don’t like it, Sam I am,” Glenn said after seeing the report.

“Why would you — why, if you’re the State Department, do you give a rat’s anus about how many people give you the ‘like’ symbol, the thumbs‑up on Facebook,” Pat added.

Stu noted that the ‘likes’ reached were artificial, which, if true, would mean the State Department spend over half a million dollars to expand their reach for a face value number that doesn’t even increase their reach or influence across social media. Why made Stu ask the question, “Why do they care?”

“I really want to know?  Why?  Do presidents and prime ministers around the world go, ‘Well, how many likes does the State Department have,’” Glenn asked jokingly.

According to the State Department they wanted to increase their pages ‘likes’ to increase outreach (or the amount of people their page reaches), but if the likes are artificial…they’re not exactly reaching more people.

“It’s not outreach when you’re buying people,” Stu noted.

“Are you Facebook liking anybody who has the State Department as part of their likes,” Glenn joked.

And while Glenn and Stu are both right, the likes — if artificial — don’t do anything to expand their reach, it could give off the perception that the public is more pleased with their performance than they really are. Odds are, after Benghazi, the State Department’s approval rating isn’t exactly off the charts, but they can give off the appearance of being more engaged with the American people than they really are.

While we’re on the subject…you may want to dislike the State Department, but don’t forget to LIKE Glenn & TheBlaze on Facebook!

  • landofaahs

    And yet they are cancelling fireworks displays in the military. These people need to be put in a nut house.

  • landofaahs

    If we took that money out of their salaries plus a little more, I would like them more.  Cut their budget 90% and I might even send them a Tank You card.

  • landofaahs

    Keeping in form with liberal thought, if the likes went down instead of up, then they should put even more money into it. That is the insane liberals thought process.  If something doesn’t work, you need to do more of it.  Much like QE to the moon.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htXuNPBko3Q Sam Fisher

    How in the hell did you guys get from State Department to kanckles. I am so confused here.

  • Anonymous

    I dumped FB soon after opening an account (and getting fully shut of FB was not easy, what with their clinging on, but that’s another story), so I don’t remember if there is a “dislike” button. If there is a “dislike” button, I might consider opening a new FB account just so I could click the dislike button.

  • Anonymous

    And it occurs to me that spending money to advertise a government entity is probably just Obama’s way of redistributing the wealth to those who support him. Taxpayer funds going to liberal companies is typical. Punish your enemies and reward your friends, huh, Obama?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Todd/1424651317 Scott Todd

     Too bad Facebook doesn’t have a middle finger button for such stuff.

  • MHinvallover4706

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

    And
    it occurs to me that spending money to advertise a government entity is
    probably just Obama’s way of redistributing the wealth to those who
    support him. Taxpayer funds going to liberal companies is typical.
    Punish your enemies and reward your friends, huh, Obama?

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    young people care about “likes.”  they cater to the young and uninformed.

  • Anonymous

    Good thing the sequester didn’t effect the government’s ability to get more Facebook likes.

    Everyone knows spending our tax dollars on this kind of stuff is much much more important than spending it on national park services, or on meat inspectors, or on the military, or God forbid spending any of it to help returning war veterans.

    Honestly, this administration is like a growing cancer that needs to be cut out before it’s too late.

  • antithetical radical

    It is this kind of utter nonsense that has our nation falling apart! The federal government wastes more money on inane crap and expects the tax payers to keep being stupid and unaware of their foolish squandering of our fortune. It’s time to pull the rug out from under these morons – they can’t be trusted to manage a dollar much less millions.

  • Anonymous

     You’ve got one !   We’ve all probably done it occasionally, but in today’s disconnected world that’s what the new generations need to feel wanted. The people running FB should be in JAIL for what that application does to one’s Personal computer as someone alluded to below.   And if I may say so…   God help us all.

  • Anonymous

     Steady on…  I think the US Military gets more than enough !

  • Anonymous

     One in five US kids now without access to adequate nutrition, and spending on this !   Why do we let politicians run things ?   Why do we have politicians ?

  • greywolfrs

    In your infinite wisdom, you forgot one thing, the military is Constitutional.

  • Anonymous

     Aye, but I would say it’s probably adequately funded.  Particularly since the US hasn’t and doesn’t face any external Military threat whatsoever.  And it’s not likely to any time soon. 

    The Beast lies within..

  • antithetical radical

    Couldn’t agree more – the federal, state, and local politicians are intoxicated on the spending of other people’s money, and most of it is a big fat waste.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, they are hires or appointments made by obama and they know exactly what he wants done.  They are doing everything they can to ruin our economy and we are just letting them.

  • ken.

    only way they can be liked is to buy/bribe just like the welfare/amnesty give away free stuff to make people like them. what losers, leftists can’t trust each other and will throw each other under the bus once they are no longer useful to them.

  • greywolfrs

    The point is not if it has enough funds or not, the point is that our military is CONSTITUTIONAL…