about the author
Social Media Editor
Justin Smith worked as a journalist before joining WFP in 2010. He tweets at @justin_eugene
Four years after launching its account on Twitter, WFP has passed the 500,000 followers mark. Social Media Editor Justin Smith reflects on what it means for the UN food agency to reach this important milestone.
ROME—Four years ago, WFP’s web team gathered around a computer at our headquarters in Rome and launched our account on Twitter. WFP was one of the first UN agencies to start using social media and we knew we were doing something important.
Four years and 10,770 tweets later, it’s clear we were right. Twitter, and social media in general, has made an enormous impact on the way we communicate about our work.
Every day, we use platforms like Twitters to bring our followers news and stories they might never find anywhere else. We engage them in an ongoing conversation about the real progress being made in the fight to stamp out hunger.
Amassing 500,000 followers without spending a dime on advertising is a clear indicator of our success. But an even greater one are the 80 WFP staff members who use Twitter to share their personal insights and experiences from the field.
It’s one thing to read a story about a humanitarian crisis. It’s another to learn about it directly from our colleagues on the ground.
Our mission is to connect our followers with our staff and the people we serve. WFP is the largest humanitarian organization on the front lines against hunger. But more than that, it’s an organization of people who make sacrifices for a cause they believe in. If you believe in that cause too and want to learn more about it, following us on Twitter is a great place to start.
Hopefully someday, WFP will tweet that hunger has ended. Until that day comes, we’ll need all the followers we can get.