TSA Uses Social Media to Carry On the Message

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Over the last few years, Twitter marketing and Facebook campaigns have been paramount in helping government agencies and nonprofit organizations spread information about important regulations and changes happening in said organizations. New traffic laws, food safety alerts and disaster relief efforts are just a few ways these agencies have used social media platforms to inform the public. And now, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the latest group to rely on social media marketing in hopes of driving home an obvious but important point.

You’d think most of us would assume that since we get scolded on the size of our toothpaste or forgetting to take off our shoes, we’d know that loaded firearms were a huge no-no on airplanes. You would be wrong. In fact, the TSA reports that a surprising 894 guns alone have been taken directly off passengers or from their carry-on bags since January. This a 30 percent increase from last year. The TSA hopes to remind folks that weapons on airplanes are not okay by using Instagram. The account, which debuted in June, features pictures of cleverly disguised weapons with witty captions. The campaign hopefully will remind passengers what they can and cannot bring on a plane.

And so far, it seems to be a hit. With 46,000 followers and just 11 posts, folks are obviously responding to the agency’s humorous but informative snapshots. Still, this isn’t the TSA’s first social media rodeo.

“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses a variety of ways to engage with the traveling public in order to provide timely information that assists them in traveling safely,” the agency said in a statement.

But the TSA is one of the first government agencies to really utilize Instagram, and we think it is wise move. With image-based blogging at an all-time high, brands that capitalize are undoubtedly going to turn heads. For non-profits and government organizations, image-based blogging seems incredibly progressive, even edgy. 

But whaddya think, readers: Is Instagram marketing the new Pinterest marketing? Are government-based social media campaigns effective? And just for kicks, tell us your airport security horror stories. We know you have some. Sound off in our comments section!

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