Municipalities ‘Like’ Facebook: The Use of Social Media in Local Municipalities
The use of Facebook in local municipalities has grown dramatically over the last few years. Local municipalities enter social media to meet people where they already are, in order to inform, discuss and receive feedback. The use of such services is rarely an integrated part of the municipalities’ communication strategies, and more knowledge is needed to explore how local municipalities could use such services to their benefit. This chapter contributes to this area of research by, based on current literature, classifying municipalities’ use of social media into six thematic areas. The explanatory potential is illustrated by conducting a qualitative case study in which a local municipality’s use of Facebook is analysed based on the suggested thematic areas. We argue that instead of viewing social media as a silver bullet, its implementation should be adapted to obtain specific achievements in one or several of the categories suggested here. Local municipalities could be more specific about the potential achievements in order to avoid a mismatch between external and internal stakeholders’ use and expectations of social media.
KeywordsSocial media Facebook Local municipalities
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