ADVERTISEMENT

Many of us might think that social media and government don’t mix, but is that really the case? Today, various studies show that authorities and their officials are slowly but surely becoming more active on social platforms. From keeping people in the loop during a crisis to entertaining and educating the public, the combination of government and social media doesn’t have to be dull anymore.

One of the best examples of a federal agency doing social media right is the National Park Service. Their genius strategy has transformed the organization established in 1916 into one that engages its audience with unexpectedly funny and informative captions on wildlife photos. The National Park Service's account on X (formerly known as Twitter) has attracted over 1.2 million followers. It continues to entertain people with its unique sense of humor. Listed below are some of their best posts to make you laugh and learn something new about nature.

More info: Instagram | Facebook

The National Park Service (NPS) is a government organization that cares for more than 400 national parks in the United States. The 107-year-old agency helps to preserve the local heritage and create green spaces for people to get outside, be active, and have fun.

With the help of their current social media specialist, Matt Turner, their online presence has become more vibrant and engaging than ever. Before, the NPS had no trouble posting pretty pictures. But with a little touch of personality and humor, it has evolved into a place where people regularly swing by for funny content and stay for educational information like safety tips, a dive into park resources, or even a fun fact.

ADVERTISEMENT

Turner credits the unexpected birth of these funny posts to pairing a standard National Park photo with unconventional captions. You simply wouldn’t think that a heading like “Everyday I’m rustlin” or “Mountains… like flat land, but at an angle” came from a government agency. He shares that ideas might spring from a great photo that can be easily referenced to a meme or a pop culture moment. Other times, a quote or possible caption pops into his head, and he starts searching across park accounts for photos that bring it to life.

ADVERTISEMENT

The National Park Service's presence online as a whole aims to foster an educated community that cares about the environment, teach the importance of parks, and preserve land heritage. Additionally, behind the funny captions, there is usually a serious message that teaches people how to act around wildlife. Posts about bear safety, a week dedicated to bats, and rules for survival spread information about animals that might be shaped like friends but totally aren’t.

ADVERTISEMENT
#11

Funny-National-Park-Service-Twitter-Posts

NatlParkService Report

Add photo comments
POST
johannazamora_1 avatar
Pyla
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Near Poulson MT, well, closer to Dixon, there is a reserve. Tou can drive through. I recommend May or June. Lots of babies.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu

The mix of awkward, funny, and beautiful photos of animals combined with hilarious captions encourages people to come back for more and share them with others. Since starting this personalized strategy, the National Park Service's social media has taken off. As of November 2023, it has 5.5 million followers on Instagram and over 1.2 million followers on Facebook and X (formerly known as Twitter). As Turner looks into the future, he is hopeful that social platforms will remain a great tool to bring people together and inspire them to learn and connect with their parks like never before.

#13

Funny-National-Park-Service-Twitter-Posts

NatlParkService Report

Add photo comments
POST
de-pieter-baan avatar
User# 6
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yesterday, it was so cold here I saw a banker with his hands in his 𝐨𝐰𝐧 pockets.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu

Studies have found that in 2013, there were a total of 1,362 social media pages associated with federal organizations, with Facebook and X being the most used ones. Despite social media’s emergence in the early 2000s, it’s still one of the newest ventures in government communication strategies. At first, official authority accounts acted as communication channels to share public service announcements, safety information, and news.

ADVERTISEMENT
#18

Funny-National-Park-Service-Twitter-Posts

NatlParkService Report

Add photo comments
POST
waihi avatar
My O My
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hold on! This guy told us to use sticks to poke webs a bit earlier and now we suddenly are not allowed to anymore?

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu

Currently, agency accounts are increasingly starting to let their human side shine through, putting aside the official, robot-like tone. They’re experimenting with using an authentic, conversational voice, which helps gain trust and build a genuine connection with communities. The IRS, responsible for federal tax laws and audits, often pairs its tax-filing reminders with something less stressful, like pictures of food, rubber ducks, and dogs. How can you be mad at such a reminder when it’s done through arguably the internet’s most favorite animals? There's no need to feel sad, cat lovers.

#21

Funny-National-Park-Service-Twitter-Posts

NatlParkService Report

Add photo comments
POST
wolf2474 avatar
Jessica Scott
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ok to be fair though, if I hear someone yarn within a 3 block radius I'm going to yarn. Also talking and thinking about yawning makes me yawn. I'm yawning now

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT

Joseph Galbo, manager of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission account on X, thinks that it’s super important for people to be engaged with their government, even if it takes flying dogs and cats to do it. It quickly became evident that it’s hard to alert people when no one’s paying attention. The successful inclusion of humor in federal communication captures users' attention and increases involvement. It also portrays complex information in an approachable way, which helps to get the message across effectively.

While there are many benefits to switching up social media strategies, governments should keep some things in mind when including wittiness in their posts. Agencies need to ensure that their use of humor is appropriate and aligned with their values so that it doesn’t affect their reputation. Because their content reaches diverse demographics, it’s also important to avoid anything that can be offensive to other cultures and minorities. Additionally, the humor shouldn’t overshadow the message. The ultimate goal here is to provide information, and witty remarks should enhance it, not distract from it.

ADVERTISEMENT
#26

Funny-National-Park-Service-Twitter-Posts

NatlParkService Report

Add photo comments
POST
star44886 avatar
Will Cable
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A lot of men think the same about their 'little friend' after eating more than they should over the holidays

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu

If you enjoyed these witty NPS posts, make sure to check out Bored Panda's earlier publication about the organization for some more fun content.

See Also on Bored Panda
#37

Funny-National-Park-Service-Twitter-Posts

NatlParkService Report

Add photo comments
POST
legrande375 avatar
Pieter LeGrande
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Being the faster runner has advantages, but you never know if the bear wants entree and main course.

View more commentsArrow down menu
See Also on Bored Panda
#50

Funny-National-Park-Service-Twitter-Posts

NatlParkService Report

Note: this post originally had 98 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.