How Governments Are Using Social Media Today

This blog post is an excerpt from our recent report with Hootsuite, The Social Government Benchmark Report 2018. To read the full report, head here.

To establish a baseline view of how governments are using social media—and the results they’re seeing—we polled the GovLoop community of government professionals on a variety of topics, including:

• What level of government they serve

• Their key use cases for social media

• Tools they’re using to manage social media

• Benefits they’re seeing from their use of social media

• How they envision the future of social media

Representation of local, state and federal respondents was broadly in line with the relative sizes of the workforce, with nearly 70 percent working for state and local government, while 30 percent work at the federal level.

Overall, the majority of respondents (87 percent) feel their social media programs have room for improvement. Only 40 percent report that their agency has a clear plan moving forward with social media strategy, and only 43 percent say their executive team views social media as a strategic area of focus.

As for tools, 11 percent of respondents post to social networks “natively” without any social media management tools, whereas 32 percent of respondents are using a social media management platform such as Hootsuite to coordinate their social efforts.

Twenty-two percent of respondents use social listening tools to monitor topics and conversations on social media. Only 12 percent use archiving solutions, and just 3 percent report using a solution to support regulatory compliance on social media.

As governments begin to adopt social media for an increasing number of use cases, overall adoption of more sophisticated strategies and tactics around analytics, security, and archiving compliance remain low. Social media teams in government face many external challenges in moving toward a mature, integrated social media strategy, as we’ll explore later in this report.

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Avatar photo Blake Martin

This data is interesting as I think it bolsters what we already knew about social media in the public sector. I am shocked, however, at how few use a social media management platform or utilize a regulatory compliance solution.