University of Twente Student Theses


Social media usage at governmental organisations : the use of social media as a means for government communication at local governmental organisations

Veldhuis, L.M. (2013) Social media usage at governmental organisations : the use of social media as a means for government communication at local governmental organisations.

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Abstract:The last decades there have been many innovations in the field of communication and information technology. New forms of communicating have become available and social media platforms are among the new tools for communication. The use of social media presents challenges for governmental organisations, because it is a rather new communication tool that needs to be implemented in the already existing communication goals and strategies of governmental organisations. It is unknown which changes a governmental organisation has to make to fully engage social media as a communication tool in their communication strategy. The objective of the study is: Identifying criteria for effective use of social media by local authorities as a means for government communication and evaluating to what extent local authorities meet the identified criteria. For the identification of the criteria multiple academic books and articles have been used to establish a set of thirty criteria for social media usage by govermental organisations. To provide a clear of overview of themes that are important for social media usage by government organisations, the criteria are divided into six categories. The categories can be found in Table I. To evaluate to what extent local authorities meet these criteria, eight local authorities in the region of Twente have been selected. At these organisations is studied to what extent local authorities use social media and to what extent they meet the criteria. To investigate how the use of social media is organised, interviews and desk research are used. The main findings per category are summarised here. Figure I shows the performance of all organisations per category and in Appendix III an overview of the scores per organisation can be found. All organisations have a high score in the category knowledge. The criteria in this category can be seen as a basic requirement for being active on a social media platform. At every organisation the employees know or have the opportunity to know – with information that is distributed by employees of the communication department - what social media are and how to use them. Not at every organisation it is clear what the public expects from the organisations on social media platforms. Another difference between the organisations is that at some organisations a social media training is available for all employees, at other only the employees of the communication department have had a training and at some organisations there has been no training at all. In the categories monitoring, sharing & relations, presence and strategies & policies the organisations partly meet the criteria. At some organisations monitoring of stakeholders and the reputation of the organisation itself takes place on a structural basis and at other organisations on an occasional basis. In the category sharing & relations are differences between organisations in whether or not the organisations specified in a guideline or a note how the employees have to use social media. This involves who may post and what may be posted on social media platforms and also about what the goal is of the relationship with users. In the category presence at all organisations the employees of the communication departments think consciously about on which social media platforms they want to be active as an organisation. On the other hand, the involved employees almost not create small specialised groups. In the category strategies & policies there are differences between the organisations. These differences are caused by the extent to which at the organisations goals, policies, guidelines and strategies are defined for social media usage. And also to which extent other strategies are congruent with the goals and strategies with social media usage. In the category finance the organisations hardly meet the criteria. At the organisations there is the perception that a specific budget for social media usage is not yet necessary yet. It was not possible to measure exactly how much time and money is spent for social media usage. This was not possible because almost all organisations have no specific budget for social media, they allocate the time and money to the budget for the communication department and other departments when social media is used for specific projects.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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