Affiliations: [a] School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK | [b] Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Corresponding author: Giles Moss, Media Policy, School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS29JT, UK. E-mail:email@example.com
Abstract: The analysis of social media data promises significant new ways of knowing
publics, but an understanding of the value of social media analytics for
different organizations in practice is only just emerging. Drawing on
research conducted with two city councils in the UK, this article examines
the current and potential use of social media analytics in local government.
We outline a range of purposes that social media analytics might serve - from communication and public relations to public consultation and
engagement - and consider the factors that shape or are likely to shape
how analytics tools are adopted. We conclude by pointing to a democratic
dilemma facing local government: at a time of austerity measures and
reaching out to the public and fostering public engagement becomes
more important just as councils have fewer resources to invest in it.
Keywords: Social media, digital data, analytics, public engagement, local government