Skip down to main content

Use of Twitter in UK Local Government

26 Sep 2012

This is a recording of a seminar on quantitative methods in social media research held at the OII on 26 September 2012. Panos Panagiotopoulos discusses use of Twitter in UK local government.

Panos Panagiotopoulos presents part of a project on UK local government microblogging, a practice which has become a significant element of the public sector social media agenda. Many authorities in the UK have created Twitter accounts in an effort to update the public with frequent, concise and real-time content. The broader study described in the video is based on a study of Twitter accounts maintained by 187 officially listed UK local government authorities. Over 296,000 tweets were collected and analysed in two stages: an examination of the Twitter networks developed by the accounts was followed by a structural analysis of the tweets. The combination of online data collection and social media analytics techniques enabled us to reach important conclusions about the use of Twitter by local authorities. The findings indicate high level of maturity of Twitter in the UK local government and point to several directions for further increasing the impact and visibility of those accounts within a social media strategy. We particularly identified the importance of Twitter as an information sharing and engagement channel during unexpected events such as the 2011 riots and adverse weather conditions. More information about this study.