The State Department spent $630,000 on an ad campaign to get Facebook "likes" under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to the department’s inspector general, the Washington Post reports:
The efforts, which involved advertising initiatives between 2011 and March 2013, increased the fan numbers for each page from about 100,000 to more than 2 million, the report said… The State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs came up with the campaign as a way to engage with foreign audiences, the report said.
Only two percent of the people who "liked" the Facebook pages shared or commented on the items. The program faced problems when Facebook changed its approach to news feeds, making the campaign less viable. Instead, the bureau now pays for sponsored ads to keep content visible.
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The Washington Examiner reports that this could be part of a larger problem:
Not only does the bureau lack its own social media strategy, but various State Department bureaus have more than 150 social media accounts that are uncoordinated and often overlap, according to the IG.