Government agencies can benefit from harnessing the possibilities offered by social media. However, given the various issues associated with the use of social media, the agency will only reap the benefits by implementing identified, sustained, and accountable leadership. Leaving social media without any monitoring is precarious, based on the potential for misuse as well as information and privacy issues (Lee & Kwak, 2012). The leader selected will be responsible for monitoring the kind of information and content communicated via the social media. The issue of privacy, in this case, does not apply given the reality that the agency is a public office and the information is within the public domain. The social media implemented within the agency will only be used in communicating matters related to the agency and not for personal communications.
Therefore, to get the required kind of leadership, the government will work with various stakeholders, including the users of the social media. In essence, following the desire to implement social media use within the agency, the authorities will be required to work on social media and communication teams in defining the kind of leadership that should be in place to direct such communications and interactions (Fyfe & Crookall, 2010). The leader will be responsible for determining what will be communicated, to whom the communications will be directed, and the desires achievement in the use of social media. Any communication that goes contrary to the desired objectives will not be allowed to occur within the organizational settings.
A leadership policy on the use of social media within the agency is necessary (Fyfe & Crookall, 2010). As such, the policy will be a new plan aimed at building and maintaining effective social media communication within the public sector (Lee, 2010). Given that social media use in government agencies is a new phenomenon, it is apparent that such a policy has never been in existence in the past. Thus, the government and other stakeholders will be engaged in research on designing and implementation of an effective social media policy to guide leadership (Hrdinova, Helbig, & Peters, 2010). Therefore, the policy will define the areas in which the social media leadership will focus on to ensure responsible use of social media by the employees of the agency.
The policy will also detail whatever is required of the employees in the use of the social media. However, at times, the personal and professional uses of social media are not mutually exclusive. Hence, the policy is critical in defining the boundaries around the professional and personal uses of social media by the employees (Aral, Dellarocas, & Godes, 2013). In addition, the policy will also define the legal, security, and managerial issues surrounding social media use by government agencies. Particularly, the policy will provide the leader with the relevant directions for the use of social media tools within the agency. Hence, to achieve the objectives detailed within the policy, it is necessary for the selected leader to be a communication specialist (Pan American Health Organization, 2009). As such, it is only such a person who will understand the dictates of the policy and know whether everything is going in the right direction or not.
Aral, S., Dellarocas, C., & Godes, D. (2013). Introduction to the special issue social media and business transformation: A framework for research. Information Systems Research, 24(1), 3-13.
Fyfe, T., & Crookall, P. (2010). Social media and public sector policy dilemmas. Institute of Public Administration of Canada.Available from HYPERLINK http://www.ipac.ca/documents/SocialMediaPublicSectorPolicyDilemmas.pdf
Hrdinova, J., Helbig, N., & Peters, C. S. (2010). Designing social media policy for government: Eight essential elements. Center for Technology in Government. Available from HYPERLINK “http://www.ctg.albany.edu/publications/guides/social_media_policy
Lee, J. (2010). 3D GIS in support of disaster management in urban areas. Directions Magazine. Available at HYPERLINK “http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_id=2049&trv=1”
Lee, G., & Kwak, Y. H. (2012). An open government maturity model for social media-based public engagement. Government Information Quarterly, 29(4), 492-503.
Pan American Health Organization. (2009). Information management and communication in emergencies and disasters. Available at HYPERLINK “http://new.paho.org/disasters/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=594&Itemid=