Designing social media policy for government


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Practical guide from the University at Albany’s Center for Technology in Government. This article outline the basis for designing a digital engagement strategy.

Government agencies are increasingly looking to leverage social media to improve the quality of government services and elicit greater citizen engagement. Developing a social media policy can be an important first step for government agencies considering using social media and can ultimately serve as a key enabler for responsibly and effectively leveraging social media tools. Yet, many governments are struggling with what such a policy should encompass and convey. This report outlines the different reasons government employees engage in social media use and begins to answer the question, what are the core elements of a government social media policy? Our analysis identified eight essential elements for a social media policy: 1) employee access, 2) account management, 3) acceptable use, 4) employee conduct, 5) content, 6) security, 7) legal issues, and 8) citizen conduct. The report closes with brief guidance on strategies for getting started.

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