Social Media in the Public Sector: Who’s Using it and How?

A couple of interesting stories caught my eye today relating to the use of social media in the public sector, which I thought I’d share:

How Local Authorities in England Are Using Social Media

Dean Spurrell from Ashford Borough Council has shared some interesting insight into how local authorities in England are using social media. In terms of uptake, 96% of the 78 local authorities he surveyed are currently using social media with the remaining few who aren’t planning to do so next year.

Although these are promising statistics, he argues there’s room for improvement in how the local authorities are actually using their social media accounts. Although the majority (two thirds) use it for a mix of one-way and two-way communications, 15% of local authorities were only using it for one-way communications and thus weren’t using their social media presence to fully engage with citizens.

It should come as no surprise that the most popular social media platforms used by the local authorities are Twitter (97.5%) and Facebook (93.2%) but it’s interesting to see that a majority are using YouTube (62.7%) and nearly half are on Flickr (47.5%). It will be interesting to see how many local authorities choose to expand their social media strategies to accommodate the recent exponential growth of Pinterest.

Read the post on the British Politics and Policy at LSE blog.

23 Examples of Good Social Media in the Public Sector

Over on Governing People, Dan Slee has put together 23 examples of where the public sector are using social media effectively. The majority of the examples are from the UK, including how Birmingham City Council are streaming their council meetings whilst encouraging comments and feedback on Twitter through the #bcclive hashtag.

The post also highlights some interesting examples of how new social media platforms are being utilised by the public sector in the US. The US Army has its own page on the new social network Pinterest which is now the third most popular social network in the US.

The team behind it have clearly done their research into what gets shared by users (the majority of whom are female) by providing a board for patriotic food items, DIY decor and women in the US army.

Another interesting example is how the new Facebook Timeline is being used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). They’ve structured it so that you can view footage from from the relevant year by selecting it on the timeline with the page including content dating back to NASA’s opening in 1958.

Learn more about all 23 examples on Governing People.

Got any other interesting stories or articles to share?

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