Hill & Knowlton General Manager, Julia Atherton-Dandy discussed Social Media and Government last week to the BizLadies Networking Group. The presentation included research into the use of different methods of social media explaining how social media use in Bahrain alone has increased by 20% in the last two years.
Julia explained why government should use social media, how they use it, what channels work best and the impact of social media in terms of behaviour change. She explained, “Public participation and transparency are important, as is providing incentives or rewards.” She stressed the need for speed and accuracy when using social media and explained how strategy was essential for impact whilst working towards leveraging followers.
During her presentation, Julia advised Bizladies to use a range of social media and that quality, as opposed to quantity was more beneficial. She explained how Twitter and Facebook are the most heavily used in the region stemming from the impact of the Arab Spring. She concluded that, although dashboards can be formed, usually by experts, it can be difficult to gauge return on investment from some forms of social media such as Instagram.
Ms Atherton Dandy, commented, “The emergence of social media as a communication tool across government sectors in Bahrain showcases progress, and the Kingdom can be recognised as a regional leader in this area. Digital is changing the way that we do business as PR practitioners, making everyone a journalist in their own right by being able to access a great number of followers. The upcoming Social Media masters forum shows the importance the Bahrain Government is placing on this emerging sector and this is why we felt it was a great topic for our discussion at Biz Ladies.”