A report from the Inspector General shows the US State Department spent $630,000 to earn more “likes” on its Facebook pages, in an effort to reach its target audience.
Between 2011 and March 2013, the department’s Bureau of the International Information Programs tried to boost the popularity of its various social media accounts by advertising and page improvements. The results though weren’t so good, prompting a report from the Inspector General in May. The report reads, “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.” Although the spending resulted in an increase in Facebook likes from 100,000 to 2 million, the Inspector General says the bureau’s target audience is older, more influential people — not the kind who spend hours liking government Facebook pages.
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