Does social media help deliver better public services and does the use of social media create more open policy processes? What are the current trends and what are valid guidelines for decision makers? These questions are at the heart of a study published by the OECD in 2014 exploring the Social Media Use by Governments. Whereas politicians fairly quickly became aware of the potential of new social media such as twitter, facebook or blogs, governments have been more reluctant in taking up these new tools.
However, they are slowly catching up, says the OECD report, becoming more experimental with social media and trying to explore the potential of amplifying the effects of the internet on participatory democracy and public information. Yet, institutions need to be aware of the risks entailed in using social media, such as private data protection, quality of information and public perception.
Governments and institutions need also to better understand the impact of the use of social media to improve their policy making, their understanding of people’s needs and the way they can communicate about its own policies and service. Governments also need to attract and adapt a new skill set necessary for its employees to be able to make full use of social media. These are just some of the challenges and issues governments have to focus on when getting involved in social media use. For more info read here the full report: