Why is social media important?

The ascent of social media over the past few years is transforming the way people think, behave and communicate. The internet is no longer just a static advertising resource for companies to push their messaging. Today, people get their information online by engaging with trusted and relatable sources that speak to their specific interests. By its very design, social media has a degree of openness and transparency that provides excellent opportunities for local governments to build trust and a positive public perception of its work and services. Social media also makes it possible for councils and commissions to communicate directly with the people who are impacted by their decisions – both positive and negative – and engage in meaningful dialogue or connect constituents to services.

Local governments are utilizing social media to provide new or improved government services more and more frequently. With millions of users from very diverse demographic groups all using platforms like Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn with similar expectations, local governments can actually meet core operational goals far more efficiently than with traditional communications and marketing tactics.

Check out the resources below for more information on the state of social media and learn a few ideas on how your city could benefit from incorporating social media into your municipal services. 

State of Social Media Infographic 2014
7 Ways Local Government Can Use Social Media

1 why is it important2 how do we get started3 do we need a policy4 how do we build engagement5 is it a public record6 where can we learn more

If you have specific questions about using social media that are not listed above, please contact Brittni Johnsen for further assistance.

Important Disclaimer The League has compiled this information to help local officials understand technical and legal concepts related to the use of social media in the public sector and cannot guarantee the information is accurate or current. The League does not recommend or endorse any of the social media policies referenced above. These materials should not be considered as legal advice. Officials are encouraged to consult technical experts, attorneys and/or relevant regulatory authorities for the most up-to-date information and advice on specific situations.