The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is paying six figures to a group that worked for the "Obama for America" campaign to monitor its social media platforms so it can be more effective on Facebook and Twitter.
The agency awarded $182,814 to IB5k, a company billing itself as "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 social media campaigns, measuring the agency's impact by Facebook "likes" and Twitter mentions.
"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.
The agency hopes that by monitoring its social media websites it can become better at messaging. The FDA has a smaller social media presence than other government agencies, with over 71,000 Facebook "likes" and 35,000 followers on Twitter.
By way of comparison, the State Department has over 384,000 Facebook likes, and 653,000 Twitter followers. NASA has over 4.8 million Twitter followers, overshadowing the White House's 4.2 million.