Today the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) joined Twitter and Facebook.

Yes, that most covert of organisations has decided to join the flock and increase its use of social media.

So far it has sent one Tweet @CIA and already has 103,000 followers. I like the tone of voice they’ve used and it’s already been retweeted (shared on) 80,000 times – will undoubtedly be more when you read this.

Is it the real deal? Yes. The account appeared with a blue tick, which means it is verified – something that only Twitter can do, and a news release on the CIA website gives further detail.

Its profiles on both Facebook (which was joined on 1 June) and Twitter state: “We are the Nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go” and its location is given as Langley, Virginia.

CIA Facebook profileInformation on the CIA website gives further insight into the move: “Follow us on Twitter @CIA and on Facebook for the latest CIA updates, #tbt (Throwback Thursday) photos, reflections on intelligence history, and fun facts from the CIA World Factbook.

“You’ll also receive updates on CIA career postings and get the latest glimpse into CIA’s Museum—the best museum most people never get to see. Our social media expansion will put CIA.gov content right at your fingertips.”

The launch expands CIA’s online presence, which already includes the Agency’s public website, CIA.gov and CIA.gov mobile, and official Flickr and YouTube accounts.  In the coming weeks, there will be other CIA.gov enhancements, including live streaming capabilities via Ustream.

For me, it’s a good example of choosing channels and making smart decisions by defining and communicating how they will be used. I’d love to see their social media policy…

I thought I would share it as a final thought on this rather sunny Friday night here in London ahead of the weekend.

It’s perhaps a useful example to have up your sleeve when your senior leaders declare your company can’t possibly consider using social media due to confidentiality issues.

I’ll leave you with the CIA’s YouTube channel overview:

Have a good one all,

Rachel

P.s. Want to read more about social media use? See my Rachel’s Resources page for lots of presentations and thoughts. I’ve also contributed to a number of books on the topic and regularly tag my blog posts.