The Food and Drug Administration, hoping to get a lot more popular on Facebook and Twitter, reportedly paid $182,814 to a group
that monitored social media for the "Obama for America" campaign.
The Washington Free Beacon
reported Wednesday the agency paid the six-figure sum to IB5k, which boasts it was "the People Who Brought You Obama '08," to provide "comprehensive coverage" of the FDA's social media websites.
The company will track the FDA's online presence so it can "better understand" its digital campaigns, measuring the agency's impact by Facebook "likes" and Twitter mentions, the Free Beacon reported.
"Obtaining a snapshot of conversations that our audience is having will help us provide better counsel to FDA leadership so they can communicate more effectively and provide timely content," the FDA's Office of Acquisitions and Grants Services said in a document reported by the Free Beacon.
The agency is hoping to get better at placing messages on social media sites — and it has a way to go.
The FDA has more than 71,000 Facebook "likes" and 35,000 followers on Twitter. But the State Department has over 384,000 Facebook likes and 653,000 Twitter followers.
Social media star NASA has collected more than 4.8 million Twitter followers — eclipsing the White House's 4.2 million.
The FDA will use IB5k to "monitor overall conversations to see what the public is discussing about our work, answer questions for them, and develop consumer content for FDA.GOV and our social media channels," the Free Beacon reported.
It also will provide "comprehensive scanning" of the FDA's blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Wikipedia entry. Online mainstream news sites and discussion boards will also be monitored.
IB5k is a new media company founded by a team of filmmakers, producers, editors, and strategists who worked for President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. The company says its videos helped lead Obama to victory
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