The Use of Twitter by Local Government in Northern Ireland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper presents the results of a survey of Twitter usage in Northern Ireland’s twenty-six councils. The data was gathered in Summer 2012. The research questions were developed from a review of the literature on use of social media by government and focused on the role of social media as a com- munication channel to local government, examining the dialogue between gov- ernment and citizen and the sentiment of such dialogue. The results show significant heterogeneity in Twitter use amongst the councils; with many not engaging at all, while a small number were highly engaged with their citizens. Regardless of the perspectives of the councils, there was evidence that there was a demand from the citizens for conversations that was not being met by the councils. The paper recommends that councils need to define a social media strategy in order to maximise the use of social media, but reflects that the councils should find it easy to engage with citizens by simply asking them via Twitter. The paper also describes the recent explosion in use of social media by citizens in Northern Ireland to support fractious, polemical argument on identity politics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicatione-Business and Telecommunications, Communications in Computer and Information Science
Place of PublicationHeidelburg
ISBN (Print)978-3-662-44787-1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2014


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