While TikTok's popularity is undeniable, with now Singapore politicians jumping on the platform to connect with the youth of the nation, Instagram still remains the key channel for Singapore's public sector to engage with netizens.
According to a report from Emplifi, the proportion of content published on Instagram by the government has increased by 5.34% from 9.71% in H1 2021 to 15.05% in H1 2022, resulting in 14.18% growth in interactions from 20.39% in H1 2021 to 34.57% in H2 2022.
The proportion of Instagram interactions by ministries have also increased significantly from16.55% in H1 2021 versus 34.54% in H1 2022.
In 2022, MOH campaigns with content around vaccination and COVID-19 protocols garnered the highest number of interactions, coming in first and fourth place. National Parks Board (NPB) #CityInNatureSG, an evergreen campaign, garnered 70,799 interactions across Facebook and Instagram, coming in second. Meanwhile, MINDEF's NS55 (#NS55) campaign came in third place, and MuslimSG's Ramadan and Raya content clinched the fifth place.
Three out of five of the campaigns saw the most engagement coming from Instagram and YouTube. #CityInNatureSG's interactions on Instagram accounted for 66.74% of its total interactions, while Muslim SG's interaction on Instagram made up 82.79% of its total interactions. Meanwhile, 80.42% of MINDEF's NS55 campaign comprised of interactions from YouTube and Instagram respectively.
Singapore has 5.3 million social media users, accounting for 89.5% of the country’s total population, and as such social media continues to be a key channel for the public sector to inform citizens on important topics from the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination programs, travel measures to floods and social initiatives, explained Varun Sharma, VP, Asia Pacific & Japan, Emplifi.
“We also see an increased focus on reaching millennials and Gen Z through the growing use of Instagram and platforms like TikTok. We expect this trend to continue along with a greater mix of content types – videos, stories, livestreaming – to appeal to the younger demographic”.
Leveraging social media as a key channel for communications
The report also found that users are highly engaged with government profiles on social media, and using social media as a key communication channel continues to yield results. However, user-generated content has decreased significantly from 29,517 in H1 2021 to 21,030 in H1 2022, with brand content dominating the engagement across social media channels for the government profiles.
Sentiments on government profiles on social media
Although ministry profiles see high engagement across social media channels especially Instagram, it saw more spikes in negative comments, with high negative sentiments during the first two months of 2022. However the negative sentiment starts to trend downwards in March, with a significant spike in positive sentiments in April.
Most of the negative sentiments were around COVID-19 restrictions and booster shots.
How does the audience engage with government profiles?
The report identified a shift in the trend of interaction by audiences. The end of 2021 saw a shift towards replies, now being the most frequent way the audience react on social media. This contrasts with H1 2021 which saw shares being the most popular reaction, followed by posts and replies.
Although Instagram is the most popular medium for the public sector currently, the platform was recently criticised by Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner for trying too much to be like TikTok. This saw the platform backtracking on the product tests it recently rolled out, including full-screen photos and videos.
According to The Platformer, a tech publication founded by Casey Newton who is also the contributing editor of The Verge, the test version will be phased out in a week or two. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri also told The Platformer that it will also reduce the amount of recommended posts in the app while working to improve its algorithms.
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