Laura Sharman 04 December 2014

Councils seeing financial benefit of social media finds report

Councils seeing financial benefit of social media finds report image

Two-thirds of councils are now using social media, with 77% saying it can lead to savings if used correctly, according to a new report.

Direct message, published by BDO, found that responsibility for social media has moved from communications teams to customer service and policy teams, as more councils use it to communicate with residents.

The report also shows social media has reduced the time spent on other activities, with 63% of councils producing less paper leaflets and 40% seeing a drop in the need to telephone customers.

Andy Mahon, head of local government at BDO, said: ‘Our first social media report in 2012 revealed that while local authorities used social media, they had yet to reap the financial benefits it had to offer. A mere two years on and we can see that not only has appetite for social media increased, but councils are beginning to see tangible benefits from the investment they have made over recent years.

'Local authorities are increasingly using social media to improve the relationships that they have with their service users.’

The report also shows a change in the perception of social media within local authorities, with only 20% of councils blocking the use of it, compared to 53% in 2012.

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