Social Media in the Public Sector

by The Source on January 27, 2011 · 0 comments

in Government,Vertical Markets

My extremely stereotypical idea of a government employee is an older, technology-impaired person who is just learning how to use EMAIL. What?!?!?! Apparently, my idea is WRONG! With its popularity and high conversion rates, social media is even making its way into the public sector!

Believe it or not, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have now become commonly used tools by government agencies and individuals. The public sector in general is using social media as a way to engage with the public and as a policy-making tool in addition to promotion and generating publicity. Not surprisingly, politicians that won their midterm elections had more people that “liked” them on Facebook.

One issue that some agencies are running into with using social media is keeping the sites updated. It’s very easy to get sidetracked away from your social media efforts and neglect them…I know this all too well! If a government employee is tasked with keeping the agency’s Facebook or Twitter updated and has a busy day/week/year, social media is the easiest thing to put on the back-burner. Also, with the turnaround that is so prominent in today’s workforce, the appointed “social media updater” may leave or be let go and no one else is appointed to do the job.

Another issue that has come up is fake accounts. Outsiders can easily create a Twitter account or a LinkedIn profile pretending to be a government agency. This can be a really dangerous situtation when untrue information that seems to be “official” is leaked through social media. Government agencies need to be careful and watchful to make sure there aren’t any imposters out there in cyberspace.

Does it surprise you that social media is being used by the public sector? Do you think it’s a good or bad thing? Do you follow, like or connect with any government agencies or individuals?

Read more about this topic in the following articles:
Social media’s clear impact on the public sector
Government Execs Discuss Strategies for Updating Social Media Accounts

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