Social media has been around for more than 25 years. However, we’re still learning the best ways to use it to engage audiences—not only because the tools are constantly evolving, but also because social media strategies vary for every sector and industry. Here are 10 strategies tailored specifically for government agencies to set goals, engage audiences, and make their social media content shine:

1. Tailor Your Channels to Your Goals

Who do you want your followers to be, and what do you want them to take away when they engage with you on social media? Is social media a recruitment tool, an educator, or a source of updates about your program or service? Keep in mind the answer might differ, depending on the channel. Twitter/X might be for real-time updates, while LinkedIn might focus on recruitment. Take a deep dive into your platform, website demographics, and user engagement. Make a list of your goals for your audience and key messages you want to reinforce. You’ll use this information to ensure your posts are relevant and valuable.

2. Show Off Your People

The government can seem like a bureaucratic, anonymous monolith—and people connect with people, not faceless entities. Humanize your agency by centering your social media on your team and partners with personal stories, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and employee spotlights. This is a recruitment tool, too—what’s it like to work for your agency and with your team? Why should they choose you as an employer, a partner, or a trusted source of information? The answer is your people, so put them up front!

3. Educate Creatively and Accessibly

As a government agency, program, or service provider, it’s likely people seek you out on social media for information. Create content that educates and informs about your programs, policies, services, and initiatives with clear and digestible infographics, explainer videos, and FAQs. (Remember to keep them 508 compliant!) Use the speed and accessibility of social media to keep your followers in the loop.

4. Share Your Success

Government agencies are often so focused on problem-solving, they forget to share their wins. Highlight the positive impact of your agency's work through compelling success stories to demonstrate the tangible benefits of your programs and services. Celebrate milestones, achievements, and community contributions to inspire and motivate your audience.

5. Keep the Conversation Going

Social media is a two-way street, and people often come to be heard as much as to learn. Encourage dialogue from citizens by asking questions and conducting polls. It’s crucial to reply promptly to comments and messages to demonstrate responsiveness. This might require a full- or part-time position of its own, depending on the size of your audience.

6. Be Transparent

Transparency breeds trust. Be open with the public by acknowledging challenges, addressing concerns, and providing updates on ongoing initiatives. Honesty builds credibility and grows stronger connections with your audience.

7. Boost User-generated Content

Harness the power of your audience and celebrate your team, partners, and citizens. Share and repurpose user-generated content (with permission) related to your agency's mission. When hosting events or celebrating holidays, promote event hashtags, and have a unique hashtag or two for your agency specifically, so you can easily find content.

8. Stay Current and Relevant

Keep up with trends and conversations relevant to your agency's mission. Capitalize on timely opportunities to join conversations, share relevant resources, and provide valuable insights. Depending on your agency’s culture and “brand voice,” you may want to create or share funny trends and memes like the National Park Service.

9. Use Your Tools

Social media planners and trackers like Hootsuite and Sprout Social will help your team place content across many channels efficiently and effectively, and also offer features like social listening and analytics. Write, review, and post content for a week or month at a time with easy scheduling and workflows.

10. Measure and Adjust

Track the performance of your social media content using analytics tools to help you refine your content strategy, experiment with new approaches, and optimize your social media presence. It can also provide audience insights useful beyond just social media. 

Creating standout social media content for government agencies can be a bigger lift than expected, but it’s an amazing way to engage your audience, as well as build awareness and good faith. Looking for a partner? LMD is ready to help you take your brand’s socials to the next level.

Account Manager & Content Specialist
As Content Specialist, Morgan supports LMD's accounts with her research, writing, and organizational planning skills. Her writing experience extends to editorial, social media, and thought leadership planning and training. Morgan...Read more