Content Marketing Blog

Australian Census Bureau has fun with social media

The 2011 census has jumped into the social realm, embracing Twitter and Facebook campaigns ahead of census night this Tuesday (August 9).

Whilst many would never have predicted they'd be following a government department – let alone the Australian Bureau of Statistics – on a social networking site, the official Twitter feed has amassed over 11,000 followers since its launch.

A further 8,600 have liked the 2011 census on Facebook.

The reason for this explosion in popularity isn't purely because they have an account at all – rather it is attributed to how they've used it.

Every day the ABS has been posting entertaining facts, from humourous titbits about the number of Australians who list Jedi as their religion, to cheeky digs at fading teen heartthrob Peter Andre.

A tweet posted on August 4, reads: "This Twitter account is managed in house; yep, we're public servants with a sense of humour."

Many have been surprised by the general attitude and tone, a surefire departure from the typical dry rhetoric from government agencies.

The campaign has been excellent in demonstrating a couple of very important things about social media.

Most notably: social means social. No-one wants boring friends, so the same must be said for Twitter accounts.

By giving people an unexpected laugh with out-there facts, the ABS has turned the public perception of their service around into light entertainment, and in turn has started a wealth of positive buzz about census night.

It also demonstrates the importance of having fun.

Often companies will be too concerned with maintaining a strict, professional code of conduct.

But the reality is, most people are just looking to social media to brighten their day.

By having a fun and informative presence on Twitter and Facebook, companies can make the most of social platforms and see a wealth of benefits in return.