A Framework for Interpreting Social Media Interactions in the Public Sector

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Type of work: Article (academic)

Categories:

e-Government | Social Media & Social Software

Abstract:

Social media applications are extending the information and communication technology landscape in the public sector and are used to increase government transparency, participation and collaboration in the U.S. federal government. The success, impact and performance of these new forms of bi-directional and networked interactions can provide insights to understand compliance with the mandate of the Open Government Initiative. Many government agencies are experimenting with the use of social media, however very few actively measure the impact of their digital interactions. This article builds on insights from social media directors in the U.S. federal government highlighting their current lack of measurement practices for social media interactions. Based on their articulated needs for measurement, existing rules regulating the extent of measurement practices and technological features of the main social media platforms, a framework is presented that traces online interactions to mission support and the resulting social media tactics. Implications for both researchers and practitioners are discussed.