It would take 98hrs to print #Budget2015 papers on a standard printer. Don’t do this-check out http://t.co/AZTkfPw6lX Live: Tues 7.30pm AEST— Australian Treasury (@Treasury_AU) May 9, 2015
Now this is a good thing, and speaks to the growing confidence of the agency on social channels. It's not easy for conservative organisations to 'let go' and allow themselves to engage in less formal and more human ways.
However the specific strategy The Treasury is using runs a large risk of backfiring on the agency.
The ABS could take a very interactive and light approach with the Census to make it relevant to Australians for the very reason that it wasn't especially relevant to many of them.
Few people had strong views about the Census process, either negative or positive. It only occurs once every five years, it has no discernable impact on people's lives the rest of the time and, while completing a census form was inconvenient for some people, it didn't really trigger a strong opposing reaction.
Essentially the ABS approach helped make the Census relevant to people, taking it from a position of irrelevance.
The Treasury is in a very different position with the Australian Government Budget.
The Budget is one of the most significant government activities each year. It is comprehensively covered by the media and is seen as a defining moment for governments, used by the public to judge their performance and their future.
Decisions in the budget affect every Australian, often in very personal and direct ways. Some see their lifestyles improve, others see them falter. It is extensively leaked and discussed ahead of its release, and the shockwaves it can send through the Australian economy can profoundly shape how the government and Australia are perceived globally and locally.
In the case of the current budget, much of the public still feel wounded from last year's budget, which saw a number of budget measures not passed and the government have to take steps back in a number of areas.
The government has taken steps to 'defuse' concerns over the current budget, and have done a good job of leaking key measures ahead of its release to assay some of the community's fears regarding its impact on their lives.
However it probably isn't the right environment to replicate the ABS census strategy - the differences in the public's starting views towards Census 2011 and Budget 2015 are enormous.
As such it looks to me as if The Treasury has perhaps become too ambitious in its approach to budget social engagement this year - a view that's being supported by the types of comments the agency is receiving on its account.
For example, The Treasury's latest tweet deals with the amount of M&Ms consumed by their Budget division staff in the weeks leading up to the budget (image below).