Designing Social Media Policy for Government: Eight Essential Elements

Jana Hrdinov√°, Natalie Helbig, Catherine Stollar Peters
May 12, 2010


Government agencies must use social media to improve services and elicit citizen engagement. 

Social media screens on a smartphoneDeveloping a social media policy can be an important first step for government agencies that are considering using social media. That policy can serve as a key enabler for responsible and efficient use of social media tools.

Governments may struggle with what that policy should encompass and convey. 

This report outlines 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
  8. citizen conduct

The report closes with brief guidance on strategies for getting started.

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