Government & Social Media
Social media has been implemented by many businesses, non-profit organization and all people across the globe. So the government is not away from this trend of social media.
The top five reasons that Government in involve in social media
- To inform decision making to the country and the world
- To communicate with citizens
- To maintain internal communication
- For research and quality purposes
- For Marketing and promotions
image taken from www.govtech.com
Drivers of Social Media in Government
- Collaboration: Government needs to constantly work with different departments and organizations in order to achieve common goals.
- Participation: Social media allows people from inside and outside the government to speak up and make their voices to be heard – The most common platform used by government are- Facebook and Twitter.
- Transparency: Information gets displayed to all citizens and the world rapidly this helps to avoid misleading information and provides even-handedness.
- Marketing: The different parties are able to address to enormous amounts of people money and time wise. Also it allows engaging with people and encouraging platform users to promote their ideas in more creative ways like pictures, videos, post or blogs among others.
- Control: The government can know what the opinions of the citizens are and create or reinforce laws and regulations in order to keep social, political and economic control.
Inhibitors in Social Media
- Public exposure: The government is aware that all information that is exposed in social media platforms might have positive but also negative opinions and this can create conflict in the nation and cross borders organizations.
- Vulnerability: People have different perspectives and opinions in regards to government decisions. Therefore, direct criticism is available in government platforms. Then, the government has to deal with this directly and try to maintain good relationships and excellent communication with citizens and overall a good image before the nation and the world.
- Usability: Limited access to people who know how to access to social media platforms.
- Concern with increasing effectiveness of their programs
- The government’s influence is rigid by Act and Laws e.g. Privacy Act of 1974
- The protection of personal identifiable information is very severe
- Government agencies can’t always get fund for promotional posts
- Information is not always posted and easy to find
- Citizen expectation of access to services is of concern if agencies are not genuine
- Concern with likeability of their programs
- The Social media approach is more flexible
- The guard of personal information is less
- Managers usually allocate funds for media
- Information is presented in simpler ways
- Users are also concern with false material
Social media has enhanced the perception citizens have about the government as the information is transmitted in different platforms to citizens allowing transparency and making the opinion of citizens accountable.
The Federal SocialGov Community is about to launch three new government social media toolkits for public comment and improvement:
- Federal Social Media Policy Development toolkit, this tool will help to improve their government policies.
- Social Media Accessibility toolkit, updated by the Department of Labour Office Disability Employment Policy.
- Social Media Performance Analysis Recommendations, this is based on the Digital Analytics Program authorized by the White House Digital Government Strategy.
Since the governments handle sensitive information the challenges of being on social media platforms are numerous e.g. security issues, verification of users among others. Nevertheless, the citizen engagement with governmental agencies has increased and improved.
I would like to know your point of view… How do you think government can use social media?
DigitalGov. (2016). The Content Corner: Is Scheduling Social Media Posts Truly Social?. Retrieved from http://www.digitalgov.gov
Government Social Media. (2015). State of Government Social Media: What’s Changed in 2015?. Retrieved from. http://governmentsocialmedia.com
World Economic Forum. (2010). Is Social Media Changing The Private Sector?. Retrieve from https://www.weforum.org