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The mechanisms that make social media effective in building citizens’ trust on local government

The mechanisms that make social media effective in building citizens’ trust on local government Focusing on municipalities, this study aims to examine whether citizens’ engagement with local public administration activities on Facebook can have a positive effect on citizens’ trust.Design/methodology/approachUsing data from 333 citizens and resorting to structural equation modelling, a conceptual model is tested.FindingsThe results show that communicating directly with citizens through social media can enhance the citizens’ involvement in social issues and their identification with their city council. The effect of citizen engagement on trust propensity is mediated by citizens’ identification with the city council and by citizens’ involvement in social issues.Practical implicationsThe study provides a conceptual model that can be used by practitioners to improve practices that enhance citizen engagement and build trust in the local government. City councils should promote activities on social media that encourage identification and citizens’ involvement. Furthermore, the findings suggest that municipalities can increase trust by involving citizens in social issues.Originality/valueThis study contributes to a better understanding of the government social media phenomenon, highlighting and empirically testing the effect of citizen engagement on institutional trust. In doing so, a process to build citizens’ trust in their city council through social media is unpacked. The findings show that communicating directly with citizens through social media can enhance the citizens’ involvement in social issues and their identification with the city council. The important role of identification to build institutional trust is emphasized. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Digital Policy Regulation and Governance Emerald Publishing

The mechanisms that make social media effective in building citizens’ trust on local government

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References (78)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2398-5038
DOI
10.1108/dprg-06-2022-0069
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Focusing on municipalities, this study aims to examine whether citizens’ engagement with local public administration activities on Facebook can have a positive effect on citizens’ trust.Design/methodology/approachUsing data from 333 citizens and resorting to structural equation modelling, a conceptual model is tested.FindingsThe results show that communicating directly with citizens through social media can enhance the citizens’ involvement in social issues and their identification with their city council. The effect of citizen engagement on trust propensity is mediated by citizens’ identification with the city council and by citizens’ involvement in social issues.Practical implicationsThe study provides a conceptual model that can be used by practitioners to improve practices that enhance citizen engagement and build trust in the local government. City councils should promote activities on social media that encourage identification and citizens’ involvement. Furthermore, the findings suggest that municipalities can increase trust by involving citizens in social issues.Originality/valueThis study contributes to a better understanding of the government social media phenomenon, highlighting and empirically testing the effect of citizen engagement on institutional trust. In doing so, a process to build citizens’ trust in their city council through social media is unpacked. The findings show that communicating directly with citizens through social media can enhance the citizens’ involvement in social issues and their identification with the city council. The important role of identification to build institutional trust is emphasized.

Journal

Digital Policy Regulation and GovernanceEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 7, 2023

Keywords: Local public administration; City council; Social media; Trust; Identification

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