The State Department's Bureau of the International Information Programs (IIP) spent $630,000 on two social media campaigns to boost 'likes' of the Department's Facebook pages.
An Inspector General's report from May says between 2011 and March 2013, the bureau spent money on advertising and making adjustments to its Facebook pages to attract younger people to 'like' it.
The spending increased the number of the Department's four English-language Facebook likes from 100,000 to more than 2 million each and increased its foreign-language likes by about 450,000.
"Many in the bureau criticize the advertising campaigns as "buying fans" who may have once clicked on an ad or "liked" a photo but have no real interest in the topic and have never engaged further." Inspector General
Among the recommendations issued by the report include adopting a social media strategy that clarifies the goals priorities of the Department's social media sites; and cut back on overlap by defining social media roles shared between the IIP and BPA. The Department has not commented on the issue.
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