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Social media for government information dissemination: content, characteristics and civic engagement

Gal Yavetz (Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel)
Noa Aharony (Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 28 May 2021

Issue publication date: 11 June 2021

371

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the information distributed on social media by government ministries. In addition, this study seeks to categorize and identify the characteristics of the highest engaging government social media posts.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is based on content analysis to examine the work of Israeli government ministries on Facebook. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze 6,292 posts posted over a six-month period, and a sample of 230 of the most popular posts was analyzed qualitatively.

Findings

Findings indicate that government ministries primarily direct and link to internal Facebook pages, with few, if any, referrals to official government websites. In addition, the types of content that generate the highest levels of engagement are classified as operations and events or symbolic acts (e.g. greetings or condolences) and are containing visual content as photos or video clips.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on the topic in several ways. First, it presents findings from a cross-national study of government authorities and organizations that operate and serve diverse populations in a multicultural country. Second, this study presents a novel examination of information strategies by government organizations with focusing on the characteristics of links, media types, content and posting frequency.

Keywords

Citation

Yavetz, G. and Aharony, N. (2021), "Social media for government information dissemination: content, characteristics and civic engagement", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 73 No. 3, pp. 473-496. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-07-2020-0201

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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