Social Media in Government: Using Social Platforms to Build Trust Through Transparency

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we live in a time where interactions with community members are limited, and public outreach is largely performed on social networks.

Social media has proven to be an effective platform for many government organizations. Municipalities and agencies can implement public outreach strategies to find and engage target audiences with tailored messaging, and share information about upcoming important events. More specifically, for government agencies, social media has presented an opportunity to focus efforts on educating and engaging with their community, while providing real-time information and announcements around important issues, like road closings or construction updates – It’s the new public service announcement. 

Even with all its nuances and intricacies, social media fundamentally facilitates government transparency. Long gone are the days when digital communication amounted to no more than public-notice bulletin boards. Agencies can showcase what makes government tick — people! It's in these stories and shared experiences that we all learn about the passion and persistence that comes with connecting communities. Social media shows us all that we are better together. 

Trust, or “social capital”, is essential to how social media networks operate. Network users rely on their sense of trust to evaluate how reliable a source of information might be, and they use established social capital to conclude on their own whether an organization’s reputation is credible. In public administration, trust involves maintaining a delicate balance between instructing administrators to be appropriately responsive to the community, and also having citizens trust the experience and expertise of your organization. Social media networks provide the opportunity to crowdsource information, so it is important to foster community relations on social media to maintain the ability to obtain valuable information that assists in the planning of future projects or processes on behalf of constituents.

Social media management requires a great range of skills for the job. Effective social media administrators need to be graphic designers, podcasters, video editors, photographers and strategic communicators. There's more to doing the job effectively than mastering technical skills: There is importance in empathizing when a resident has had a hard day – to bear the brunt of the negativity that can come from existing in the social media space as a government staffer. Our team works closely with our clients' constituents to share the organizational vision of the community and solicit buy-in for projects, plans and agency or departmental campaigns.

At Capital Strategic Solutions, we have over a decade of experience built around the implementation of social media in official government and impact mitigation communications strategies. Successfully communicate with the public you serve, protect your agency and keep public trust. Find your support community today. Contact us at or call 508-690-0046.

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