Exploratory Social Media Project


Publications & Results

Press Releases & News Stories


Scope of Work

Contact Information

Over the last several years, the emergence of social media/networking has offered a possibility of transforming the way government agencies communicate and cooperate not only amongst themselves, but also with the public. While the potential benefits of social media use by government agencies are considerable, the number of issues connected with such use and the number of potential pitfalls are substantial as well.

The overall aim of this project is to provide government professionals with practical advice on policy and regulatory issues associated with the use of social media by government agencies, offer guidance on resolving some of the most pressing concerns identified, and offer suggestions on tools that would help agencies achieve their organizational objectives in respect to social media effectively and efficiently.

Publications & Results
Practical Guides (1)
Social Media Policy Guide Cover
Designing social media policy for government: Eight essential elements
Wed, 12 May 2010 >Download PDF
Government agencies are increasingly looking to leverage social media to improve the quality of government services and elicit greater citizen engagement. Developing a social media policy can be an important first step for government agencies considering using social media and can ultimately serve as a key enabler for responsibly and effectively leveraging social media tools. Yet, many governments are struggling with what such a policy should encompass and convey. This report outlines the different reasons government employees engage in social media use and begins to answer the question, what are the core elements of a government social media policy? Our analysis identified eight essential elements for a social media policy: 1) employee access, 2) account management, 3) acceptable use, 4) employee conduct, 5) content, 6) security, 7) legal issues, and 8) citizen conduct. The report closes with brief guidance on strategies for getting started.

Reports and Working Papers (1)
Report cover
Exploratory Social Media Project Phase I: Identifying benefits and concerns surrounding use of social media in government
Tue, 15 Dec 2009 >Download PDF
In response to growing interest in and concerns about social media in the public sector among government professionals, CTG launched a project aimed at exploring some of the issues and benefits connected with social media tools. This report summarizes results from two workshops held with government professionals from New York State (NYS) as part of this project. The workshops were designed to collect information on the value NYS agencies seek in their current or future use of social media, as well as their most pressing questions and concerns regarding that use. The report summarizes the results from workshops, with full results provided in three apendices, and concludes with a section outlining the next steps in the project.

Other Papers

Designing Social Media Policy for Government
Brookings Institution
Friday May 13, 2011

Press Releases & News Stories
Press Releases

UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government To Work with Republic of Moldova on Social Media and Open Government
Mon, 12 Mar 2012

Center for Technology in Government Releases Guide on Eight Essential Elements for Government Social Media Policy
Mon, 17 May 2010

News Stories

Michigan proceeds with caution on social media
Detroit News
May 10, 2011

4 natural advances in the evolution of Gov 2.0
Federal Computer News
February 8, 2011

Governments Need Social Media Policies to Avoid Pitfalls
December 7, 2010

What Does Your Social Media Policy Say? Incorporate These Eight Essential Elements to Mitigate Problems
EMS Responder
July 31, 2010

Eight Ideas for Your Agency's Social Media Strategy
Federal News Radio
July 07, 2010

Summer Reading: Must Haves for Government Social Media Policies
Federal Computer Week
June 28, 2010

Eight Essential Elements for Government Social Media Policies
The Transit Wire
June 02, 2010

8 Essential Elements for an Effective Government Social Media Policy
Emergency Management
May 26, 2010

Study: 8 Essential Elements for an Effective Government Social Media Policy
Government Technology
May 25, 2010

8 Essential Elements for Crafting a Social Media Policy
Oh My Gov!
May 24, 2010

Government Partners

Original Scope of Work
The social media project is scheduled to be completed in September 2010. The project is currently divided into two phases:

Phase 1: July – October 2009

The aim of the first project phase was to collect input from government professionals in New York state on the most pressing questions surrounding the use of social media in the public sector, and to determine on which of these issues should CTG concentrate its research efforts. The project consisted of the following three main activities: The first phase resulted in a workshop summary report that was shared with all workshop participants as well as the NYS Forum community.

Phase 2: November 2009 – September 2010

The primary aim of the second project phase is to provide practical advice on designing policies for social media use in government, as well as guidance on developing a strategy for social media adoption and implementation. There are three main components of work:
  1. Brief review of CTG business case materials and Smart IT as applicable to social media;
  2. Social media policy analysis;
  3. In-depth interviews with government professionals from federal, state and local levels concentrating on their agencies’ experiences with social media tools.
In addition to review and synthesis of available literature on the aforementioned topics, interviews with professionals from different levels of government will be conducted to provide practical examples of how government agencies manage social media use.

Final Products

Social media policy white paper and an issue brief series that will provide government professionals with a common basis for discussing strategies for social media implementation and practical advice on the different aspects of social media implementation that have to be taken into consideration when designing an agency social media strategy.

Social media training course – a training course aimed at government professionals who are charged with designing a strategy for social media implementation in their agency. For additional information about the course, please see the Training section.

Contact Information
Center for Technology in Government
University at Albany, SUNY
187 Wolf Road, Suite 301
Albany, NY 12205
(518) 442-3892 (phone)
(518) 442-3886 (fax)
James Hrdinova
Project Manager
(518) 442-3983