Social media use in local government: an implementation guide for public officials

Due to the popularity of social media among the general populous, there is potential for it to be a useful tool for local government agencies. This thesis provides local government officials with a concise stand-alone social media implementation guide that will help public officials assess their organizations and stimulate questions like if they should pursue social media while defining the process for developing policies, strategies, and assessment tools. Agencies need to reflect on organizational limitations, potential benefits and possible concerns throughout the process and experts generally believe that these steps will improve the likelihood of successful social media implementation. This thesis discusses the existing research on social networking use by public agencies and my experience interning with the Yolo County Public Information Officer. My findings are summarized in the social media implementation guide. With regular assessment and reevaluation of the successes and failures agencies will be better prepared to realize the benefits of social media, mitigate concerns, and define their role in the digital community.