Most Singaporeans probably think that any governmental organisation’s or Member of Parliament’s Facebook page is a highly regulated, no nonsense, dull and dreary attempt at connecting with social media. While that is still mostly true, one has forged ahead and broken this stereotype – the Singapore Civil Defence Force Facebook page, run full time by Lieutenant Faizal Kamal.
You won’t be calling the SCDF Facebook page tongue-in-cheek anytime soon, but there are no short of puns and humour. While it still serves as the face of the Civil Defence force online and carries factual, concise reports of our brave firemen and rescue personnel in the line of duty, their posts are punctuated with regular contests where small gifts are given out, and the candid posts will no doubt make you chuckle while subtly reinforcing the basics of firefighting and safety.
Other than just making people laugh, it is clear that they are no strangers to trendjacking – making use of viral images and videos – to catch attention and burn their messages into the minds of visitors.
Take one post in September 2015 during the F1 Grand Prix in Singapore, where they posted a picture of a tweet from two years back: “Don’t make our ambulances break Sebastian Vettel’s lap record just because you have a toothache.”
Another recent post also shows how quickly Lieutenant Faizal, his two superiors and team of correspondents makes use of trending social media to showcase the SCDF; a photo of officers performing a height exercise that made a play on the photoshopped winning photograph of the recent Nikon photo competition, drawing more than 7000 likes and 2500 shares.
Trendjacking is not the only thing they are good at though. They are also firmly in touch with the internet generation’s use of memes, and have light-hearted posts that carry important and serious messages, like their “Be Like Bill” post on 12 January, encouraging people to give way to fire engines.
Last but not least, they have the punny posts such as the photograph of a fireman climbing a fire ladder with the caption “We take ‘climbing the corporate ladder’ VERY seriously”, and a photograph of the crew of the Alexandra Fire Station decked out in full gear posing with their arms folded, spinning off the lyrics of the classic hit song Ghostbusters to call them whenever “there’s something strange in the neighbourhood”.
Kudos to the men and women of the Singapore Civil Defence Force! Or at least their Facebook team if you’re not feeling particularly generous.
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