Measuring or interpreting social media engagement? A few answers in a new GIQ article


Government Information Quarterly has just published in early view a special issue on “Social Media in Government”. The collection was edited by Dr. Rorigo Sandoval-Almazan, Dr. J. Ignacio Criado and Dr. Ramon Gil-Garcia. I contributed an article titled “A framework for interpreting social media interactions in the public sector”. Although a title such as social media metrics, social media performance measurement or similar titles might have been more attractive, I decided to avoid prescriptive metrics. Social media use is changing so fast, that I believe social media managers in the public sector have to be very flexible and constantly observe how both technology, but most importantly how online behavior of citizens is changing to be able to adapt government’s online tactics.

Here is the abstract of the article:

Social media applications are extending the information and communication technology landscape in the public sector and are used to increase government transparency, participation and collaboration in the U.S. federal government. The success, impact and performance of these new forms of bi-directional and networked interactions can provide insights to understand compliance with the mandate of the Open Government Initiative. Many government agencies are experimenting with the use of social media, however very few actively measure the impact of their digital interactions. This article builds on insights from social media directors in the U.S. federal government highlighting their current lack of measurement practices for social media interactions. Based on their articulated needs for measurement, existing rules regulating the extent of measurement practices and technological features of the main social media platforms, a framework is presented that traces online interactions to mission support and the resulting social media tactics. Implications for both researchers and practitioners are discussed.

Full reference:

Mergel, I. (2013): A framework for interpreting social media interactions in the public sector, in: Government Information Quarterly, doi:

Please email me for a copy!


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