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Factors influencing tweet purposes and citizen engagement with municipal Twitter accounts

Factors influencing tweet purposes and citizen engagement with municipal Twitter accounts The purpose of this paper is to determine the demographic, resource and internal competition factors that influence both the level of citizen engagement provided by municipal Twitter accounts as well as the primary purposes for which those accounts are used.Design/methodology/approachThis research uses a mixed-methods approach. Twitter data were content analyzed and categorized according to their specific purposes (information dissemination, community building or calls to action). Twitter engagement was measured as an index variable constructed from prior research, and multiple regression was used to determine the factors which best predict both account engagement and tweet purposes.FindingsThe results show that two factors (a multiplatform approach and fiscal health) along with the interaction of those factors predict the level of Twitter-based citizen engagement. Median citizen age was found to significantly predict the percentage of municipal tweets with purposes of information dissemination and community building.Originality/valueThis study adds to the literature on public sector social media use by examining the purposes and practices of local government Twitter use, providing a context for examining how Twitter is employed by local governments for citizen engagement. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Online Information Review Emerald Publishing

Factors influencing tweet purposes and citizen engagement with municipal Twitter accounts

Online Information Review , Volume 45 (3): 16 – May 10, 2021

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1468-4527
DOI
10.1108/oir-05-2020-0175
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to determine the demographic, resource and internal competition factors that influence both the level of citizen engagement provided by municipal Twitter accounts as well as the primary purposes for which those accounts are used.Design/methodology/approachThis research uses a mixed-methods approach. Twitter data were content analyzed and categorized according to their specific purposes (information dissemination, community building or calls to action). Twitter engagement was measured as an index variable constructed from prior research, and multiple regression was used to determine the factors which best predict both account engagement and tweet purposes.FindingsThe results show that two factors (a multiplatform approach and fiscal health) along with the interaction of those factors predict the level of Twitter-based citizen engagement. Median citizen age was found to significantly predict the percentage of municipal tweets with purposes of information dissemination and community building.Originality/valueThis study adds to the literature on public sector social media use by examining the purposes and practices of local government Twitter use, providing a context for examining how Twitter is employed by local governments for citizen engagement.

Journal

Online Information ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: May 10, 2021

Keywords: Government; Social media; Citizen engagement; Public sector; Municipal; Content analysis

References