Twitter debate informs council communication guide

The outcomes of a debate that took place today exclusively on Twitter will form the basis of guidance on social media aimed at local government.


The one-hour discussion was hosted by the Local Government Association (LGA) and public sector social media company comms2point0. Participants followed and contributed using the hashtag #lgadigital. 

“There are pockets of really good innovate ways to talk to residents. The guidance will help local government to find best practice”, an LGA spokesperson told Public Technology. 

The debate generated around 800 tweets, according to the LGA spokesperson. Topics under scrutiny included the usefulness of tools to manage multiple accounts. “Being able to assign tweets to certain people on Hootsuite has been v useful in our team” wrote one participant. Questions around boosting democratic engagement through social networks were also debated,  as well as sharing of advice and tips on getting the best out of social networking. Another tweeter asked “What do the public want from #localgov social media? 1) Customer service 2) Showing how we are improving our city and community”. 

The guidance will be published on the LGA website in early November. Content will also be informed by the results of an online survey aimed at elected members, local government officers and residents.  

The LGA writes on its website: ‘Social media is getting more and more important as 54 per cent of adults now use it. There are 21,000 democratically elected members across Britain and there is a thirst for knowledge on how Councillors can best use it to better serve people who live and work in their area’. 

It emerged through the debate that in Lambeth for example, more than 50 out of 63 councillors have Twitter accounts, although nationwide, the use of social media by elected members is patchy. 


Mel Poluck

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