Study: Social networking tools popular with governments
More than 60 percent of all of all government agencies currently use some form of social networking, including blogs, wikis, instant messaging and discussion boards, according to a study announced in late January by the Washington-based Human Capital Institute (HCI) and Redwood Shores, Calif.-based software company Saba. The study evaluated the effectiveness of social networking in conducting government work, how agency type affects the use and perception of social networking, and the future expectations and barriers for its use within the public sector.
“This study looks at the challenges and opportunities faced by government agencies, particularly at a time when private enterprise is adopting multiple forms of social networking to help them retain talent, improve service and meet competitive challenges,” said Mike DeMarco, HCI’s Senior Research Analyst. “We were pleased to see that 66 percent of government workplaces surveyed reported using at least one social networking tool.”
As more people access social networking sites, government agencies are using the Internet tools to improve customer service and reduce costs, according to the study. County and municipal governments are particularly interested in social media, with 31 percent of those surveyed saying they use it to provide more efficient customer feedback. Security restrictions — chiefly concerns about confidential information — are the largest barrier to future implementation of social networking tools within governments, the survey found.
The study report recommends that governments improve communication among themselves about which social networking tools they use, how they use them and the success they have experienced.
Download “Social Networking in Government: Opportunities & Challenges.”