The importance of social media for local councils

“The total resource required to maintain a social media presence is still relatively low in the grand scheme of local authority delivery”

Professional services firm BDO has published a survey of local authorities according to which 98% of local councils use some form of social media.

Kate Denham, senior manager in the BDO local government advisory team, has written an article about this for The Guardian where she says ‘the impetus for digital government service delivery has grown’ substantially in the last year, as has demand for mobile access to council websites and services.

She says that although 1 in 3 local authorities still have a block on social media use, this is an improvement from last year’s 1 in 2 although only 5% have been able to save a substantial sum of money by using social media.

According to her, it is worth investing in social media even if the financial benefits are not immediate, because “The total resource required to maintain a social media presence is still relatively low in the grand scheme of local authority delivery – especially compared with more expensive channels such as phone and face to face..”

Moreover, she says the non-financial benefits should not be overlooked, such as: “Building a digital relationship with customers, the ability to provide real-time customer service and, in particular, internal service improvement through immediate feedback on customer frustrations, all of which can increase customer satisfaction and reduce contact levels significantly.”

 

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