To what extend do governments effectively use social media? Understanding government and user interactions on immigration agencies' social media
thesisposted on 15.06.2021, 14:26 by Maria Gintova
Since 2011, Canada like many other countries, has been formally using social media as part of its open government policy. In the past few years, many federal and provincial departments and agencies in Canada have invested significant resources in social media initiatives and begun to build up their presence on social media platforms. This research examines if the use of social media makes a difference and adds value in public service delivery. The study focuses on immigration agencies in Canada – the federal government’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) – and comparison with Australia and New Zealand as two other jurisdictions using social media in immigration related matters. It is aimed at capturing and analysing the perspectives of both public servants and users of government social media, therefore, filling existing gaps in the literature related to how government immigration agencies are using social media and how that use relates to social media users’ expectations and needs. The methodology used in this study includes qualitative methods: document analysis, content analysis and semi-structured interviews. Content analysis of social media data is supplemented by analysis of government documents and interview data offering insights into the meaning of effective use of social media for government and social media users. Using existing secondary sources from the scholarly and practitioner literature, the study also defines and examines effective use of social media by government and includes recommendations for practitioners. Findings of this study add value to existing scholarship on public policy and administration and for policy makers and public servants responsible for the use of social media in government to improve existing policy and public service delivery.