The federal bureaucracy's use of Twitter is growing rapidly, but analysts say the government should do less "talking at" and more "talking with".
The public service's latest data update shows government agency Twitter accounts had 750,000 "followers" - or readers - earlier this month, 40 per cent more than just five months earlier.
However, some of the most active accounts are @CSIROnews, which shares interesting facts about science, and @headspace_aus, a Health Department service that helps young people cope with mental illness.
An analyst with marketing firm Contentgroup, Jamie Bradnam, said the government had to fight earlier this year to secure the @australia account, which now had a global reach.
He put its success down to its stunning photograph, but said "there is little engagement with followers".
Mr Bradnam said @CSIROnews' tweets were retweeted - or republished - "by users at a rate of 75.56 per cent, which shows their content is highly valued and respected by the audience".
Social-media expert Craig Thomler, the manager director of Delib Australia, said the public service was steadily improving its use of Twitter, singling out the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Human Services for praise.
However, most agencies "still had a long way to go" and they tended to use the network "primarily as a one-way channel".
"That's in part the legacy of having a new government," Mr Thomler said.
"Agencies have been relatively quiet since the election, because they haven't received directions from their new ministers about how to use social media.
"And there seems to be a bit of trepidation about social media and Twitter within the Liberal Party in particular."
Mr Thomler said government agencies should use social media to monitor what the public says about them, respond to people who need help but also to "correct misinformation".
"Government agencies have a lot of reports and data at their fingertips. They could be doing a lot more to inform the conversation online.
"There has been a reluctance among agencies to provide facts because they're concerned they could get negative responses.
"Frankly, they need to grow up and get over that."