Why USAGov is Shifting Focus to Instagram, Over Snapchat

By: Ashlea Blunt, Edgardo Morales, and Claire Loxsom
Date: 27th June, 2018
Homepage of USAGov Instagram account featuring the

Social media is a key part of USAGov’s outreach efforts, which aim to connect the public with government information and services quickly and easily. As we all know, social media is continually evolving, and we try to adapt accordingly.

Our team reviews the performance data for all of our social media platforms several times a year to determine where we’re getting the highest ROI and thus, where we should be spending our time and resources. We look at different metrics such as the number of clicks, shares, and the level of reach a post has.

Based on what we learned in our recent reviews, we’re shifting our efforts away from Snapchat in order to focus on Instagram.

Why We’ll Focus More on Instagram

Audience: Instagram is the third fastest-growing social media platform in the U.S. and six in ten adults (ages 18 to 29) are active on the platform, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center report. One of our goals is to increase our engagement with this young demographic.  

Traffic: Our Instagram account has been steadily growing followers since we launched in March 2017. Research shows that the platform is growing and we can see the increase in engagement on our channels every day.

Platform structure: Our content doesn’t disappear on Instagram. While we try to share relevant and useful content each week, you can still scroll through our older posts at any time. This makes recordkeeping more straightforward and allows us to keep a public archive. On Snapchat, posts disappear after 24 hours. Overall, Instagram has proven to be easier for us to maintain and grow. Our profile is much more visible, which allows for more organic follower growth, and the platform is user friendly, something that’s really important for us as a brand and service.

Why We’ll Focus Less on Snapchat

Our Snapchat following steadily increased after we launched in 2016, but that growth has since plateaued. Our completion rates per story have also gone down 20 percent in 2018. We suspect the user experience changes to the platform combined with the surge in popularity and growth of Instagram are behind this development. We’re going to continue to evaluate our future with Snapchat as a tool over the next few months, while we focus more and more on Instagram.

Instagram Strategy for 2018

You’ll be seeing more of us on Instagram and we’ll be focusing more on producing content for all ages, in English and Spanish. Follow @USAGov, if you haven’t already to see us experiment with polling, stories, video content, and even live events.

Do you manage the social media presence for a government entity and would like to collaborate with us in some way? Let’s chat! USAGov is all about collaboration.

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