Public engagement: New trends affecting the public sector on social media

Social continues to grow in popularity. But what’s the story in the public sector?

We commissioned research to unearth the key trends right now, to help your public sector organisation optimise social media activity in 2022.

So, what did we find?

Following the leaders

A whopping 49% of all social users follow a public sector org on social.

If you’re not maximising the opportunity to speak directly to the people you serve, you’re missing out on the chance to build your reputation online.

Communicating directly with the public in a place they want to hear from you means you get to set the agenda.

Sharing news, advice, information, and guidance on social keeps you visible and the public on-side.

And our study showed even higher follow rates among younger age groups, so this trend’s only going to increase for the public sector. Get on social now to stay ahead of the curve.

Looking for examples of public bodies doing social well? Check out our friends at Devon and Cornwall Police for inspiration.

Where it’s at

Ok, so we’ve convinced you social’s the place to be. Next, we’ll look at the platform that’s working best for the public sector.

Our research found that in 2022, the original is still the best – with 72% of respondents holding a Facebook account. What’s more, that’s backed up by our friends at Buckinghamshire Council – they say Facebook’s ideal for community engagement.

Insta and Twitter stand at 44% and 42% of social users holding an account. So if you can spread your wings on social, you’ll reach an even bigger audience.

Don’t forget the potential for customer service, too. When people have a clear way to see the latest info from your organisation, your CS team no longer has to deal with floods of calls and emails asking the same questions. Instead, they can focus on more delicate or pressing matters.

Taking queries via DM streamlines enquiries and gets them to the right member of staff, fast. And if you’ve got proper management tech in place, all your interactions are recorded, supervised and accountable, catching any potentially damaging mistakes.

Engaging with the public

You know the know-like-trust journey that’s so important for reputation? Well, engaging with the public plays a key part.

Our survey showed that 40% of social users have engaged with a public sector body on a social platform. If your organisation is more accessible to the people you serve, you can really start building on your customer relationships.

In other words, if you’re not using social media to the full, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to reach more customers and enhance your reputation.

Hungry for more?

Want to read the full results, including weekly engagement rates, positive vs negative engagement, and user behaviour in a crisis?

Grab our free download to get the inside track on public sector social media trends in 2022.