Social Media Engagement

The advent of social media is transforming the way in which people connect with each other and the manner in which information is shared and distributed. It is different from traditional media such as print, radio and television in two significant ways – first, the amount of content that can be generated by the users themselves far exceeds the content generated by news/opinion makers and second, its “viral” ability for potential exponential spread of information by word of mouth and interlinking of the various social media platforms, thereby considerably reducing the control over spread of any such information. These characteristics denote the paradigm shift from Web 1.0 technologies that enabled simple information sharing and basic two-way transactions to Web 2.0 – where literally everyone is/can be a user as well as generator of content. Social media is redefining the way people communicate with one another.

Given its characteristics to potentially give “voice to all”, immediate outreach and 24*7 engagement, Social Media offers a unique opportunity to governments to engage with their stakeholders especially citizens in real time to make policy making citizen centric. Many governments across the world as well many government agencies in India are using various social media platforms to reach out to citizens, businesses and experts to seek inputs into policy making, get feedback on service delivery, create community based program’s etc.

However, many apprehensions remain including, but not limited to issues related to authorization to speak on behalf of department/agency, technologies and platform to be used for communication, scope of engagement, creating synergies between different channels of communication, compliance with existing legislations etc.

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