Monday, February 15, 2010

US Embassy Jakarta’s Facebook Continues Creative Streak

The US Embassy Jakarta in Facebook continues its creative streak.  It wasn’t too long ago when it did a fan-drive to get to the 10,000 fan-mark. Whether it’s an underwater competition or a presidential birthday, it catches every opportunity to enlarge its reach as well as plug in its other online presence including the online visa appointment system:

The new U.S. Embassy Facebook President Contest gives awards not only to the “President” but also to the “Vice President,” the “Speaker of the House,” awards to 2 weekly winners or "Senators" and a variety of “most interesting status” or "representative" awards.  See the contest rules here. Excerpt from the US Embassy announcement below:
The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta is holding a competition for its 30,000 Facebook fans to find the biggest fans of the month before the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Indonesia. The competition is to find who the top fan -- the “President” -- of the Embassy’s Facebook fan page is, by encouraging fans to promote the page, telling their friends about what the Embassy is doing by including the status tag “@U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia.”  

The contest runs from February 12 until March 12, 2010, and participants have a chance to win cutting-edge gadgets, books about the United States, and U.S. Embassy logo items.  Microsoft and Starbucks have donated prizes for the competition, including a Samsung Omnia Pro B-7320 smart phone, Microsoft Office 2007 software, a LifeCam Cinema HD camera, and vouchers for coffee at any of the 75 Starbucks locations throughout Indonesia. 

U.S. Embassy Jakarta created its Facebook fan page, in January 2009, making it the first diplomatic mission in Indonesia to do so.  The page features unique content, including previews of Embassy-produced radio and television programs, photos of the Embassy’s batik collection, and U.S. tourism videos.  It regularly hosts fan-only contests to win tickets to American cultural programs and events.  The Facebook fan page was also where the Embassy first released news about the March visit of President Obama, several hours before officially releasing the information to the media. 

The U.S. Embassy also uses other online technologies to connect directly to the Indonesian people, including its official webpage, Twitter account, a branded YouTube channel with over 300 videos, and an online visa appointment system.
The State Department’s Facebook page currently has 30,988 fans. While we were not looking, the US Embassy Jakarta’s Facebook page has racked up some 1800 more fans than the mother ship and currently stands with 32,819 fans  I expect that the current contest will boost its reach some more. 

I'm wondering -- can’t we, you know --  send the Jakarta folks running this gig to beef up the “rapid response team” in Pakistan?       

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