4 Government Agencies That Rock InstagramBy Amanda Walgrove April 1st, 2015
Regardless of your politics, you have to admit the Obama administration gets content marketing. President Obama won the first “Facebook election” in 2008, had the most retweeted tweet of all time in 2012, and was interviewed by web stars in a YouTube livestream in 2015.
There’s no question that the White House is killing the content game. And by extension, government agencies have followed suit. These agencies may not get to capitalize on the the excitement of national elections or online stars, but they’ve driven strong engagement on Instagram by humanizing bureaucracy and giving users a way to appreciate what makes each government department unique.
There are four agencies in particular that rock the visual platform with awesome content. Let’s take a look.
Parks and Recreation‘s Leslie Knope isn’t the only one to give the Parks Department a good rep. The Department of the Interior runs one a beautiful Instagram feed featuring original content from park visitors and professional photographers who capture amazing shots of preserved landscapes throughout the country. The account just reached half a million followers and celebrated the best way they knew how: with this pic of surprised baby owls from the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.
As Yes! Magazine points out, individual park services’ accounts, such as the Glacier National Park Service and Yosemite National Park Service, are also worth a follow on Instagram, pumping out gorgeous images of America’s most breathtaking natural sights.
The TSA may be a joke and an annoyance to many, but can it compensate and win some people over with its Instagram feed? Maybe so, considering the TSA Instagram is not just entertaining, but also informative. The account regularly posts #TSATravelTips, like how to bring your cat on board or store an entire pie as a carry-on item. For animal lovers, TSA also updates followers about its bomb-sniffing dogs with #TSAOnTheJob.
But perhaps the most interesting hashtag the TSA has to offer is #TSAGoodCatch, featuring all of the crazy and dangerous objects found in people’s luggage. Take your pick between throwing knives, a hatchet with brass knuckles, a lipstick stun gun, and my favorite, embedded above: a Chihuahua that secretly climbed into its owner’s suitcase.
Similar to the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management manages more than 245 million acres of public land. And for people who can’t travel the country to see those millions of acres in person, the Bureau provides a peek with its breathtaking Instagram account.
Agency employees across the nation contribute their own photos, which has helped the mypubliclands Instagram double its following to almost 60,000 in the past six months. This year, the Bureau has already run some great hashtag campaigns on the platform, including a countdown to the Oscars that shows famous filming locations; a #conservationlands15 social media takeover, featuring quick facts about famous monuments; and the #BLMbucketlist of places you must see in your lifetime.
Also, look, Internet: a double rainbow!
NASA has a history of owning social media—just look at its momentous live stream coverage of the Mars Rover landing, and the NASA Social Program, which offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the agency’s facilities and projects. So it’s no surprise that NASA has emerged as Instagram’s authoritative voice on all things outer space with over 2 million followers and counting. Highlights from the feed include astronaut selfies from space, exploding stars, rare captures from the Hubble Space Telescope, throwbacks to old satellite launches, and firsthand looks at new missions.
Also, trust NASA to provide the coolest and most appropriate tribute to Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy, who passed away earlier this year. Where else could you find an astronaut’s photo from the ISS as he flew over Nimoy’s birthplace? Live long and prosper, NASA Instagram.Image by Department of the Interior, TSA, Bureau of Land Management, NASA