Council content ‘fails to set social media alight’

Citizens are failing to share local authority content with friends on social media, indicating content is “not up to scratch”, according to a new study.

A study by cloud platform supplier Acquia found that while 63% of the population have visited a council website, just 10% have shared something from their local authority via social media or email.

And while 86% of people have bought online in the past year, yet less than a quarter (21%) of visitors have ordered or booked a council product or service online.

Martyn Eley, vice president for EMEA at Acquia, said: “The lack of recommending and sharing activity is a clear indication that the content offered is not up to scratch.  Local authorities can only secure better digital engagement by delivering excellent and efficient online experiences, including essential information, through content and commerce.”

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The figures also show that more than half of all age groups between 16 and 65 have looked for information on their local authority’s website.

However, only 10% have recommended a local authority service, and just 37% have not interacted online with their local authority at all in the past 12 months.

Eley said: “Local authorities are in a unique position of having a ready-made, captive audience.

“Despite the pressure from the Government Digital Service and the compelling economic evidence for a digitally-focused, self-service approach, local government is not responding to this.

In 2012, it was estimated that each online transaction costs councils 15p while face-to-face discussions average £8.62 and phone calls cost £2.83.

Colin Marrs

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