Social Media: What Do Oreo and the Federal Government Have in Common?

Last week I wrote about how Oreo dominated social media during the Super Bowl blackout and touched a bit on how powerful social media can be when used correctly.

However, if you’re reading our blog most likely your company doesn’t fall into the packaged sweets category. In fact, there’s a good chance you’re saying “Well, that’s great for Oreo, but what about the federal government. They don’t use social media!”

To that I call shenanigans.

Just because you’re not selling your product to the general consumer doesn’t mean your audience isn’t using social media and that you should ignore it.  It’s 2013, folks; everyone is using social media. That includes the government. Not only is the White House on Twitter – with more than 3.6 million followers – but almost every branch of the militaryhas a presence there along with most federal departmentsand agencies. Many of these same federal departments and agencies are also represented on Facebook and LinkedIn.

So, now that I’ve shown you that the federal government does in fact use social media I’d like to push you to think beyond just the agency/department representation on these sites. It’s definitely worthwhile to know that government agencies uses social media but more important, in my opinion, is knowing that employees of those agencies – i.e., your customers – are there. After all, social media communities are not run and populated by robots. People, including members of your target audience, manage and congregate on these sites.

When selling to the government you aren’t selling to some great and powerful Oz who runs the agency from behind a magic curtain. You are selling to people. When your company’s sales team goes into an agency they aren’t going to the CIO, they are talking directly to the person who uses the equipment, the person who has the ability to make purchasing decisions. These are the people you want to be sure you are seeking out and reaching on social media, just as Oreo is seeking the consumer who is likely to purchase their cookies.  You may not have Oreo’s advertising or public relations budget but that’s the beauty of social media – it’s free – and if used properly – priceless.

Interested in learning more about how to use social media to engage with the government? Download our tip sheet – The Blueprint – Social Media and Government.