Following The Trends

Following the Trends reveals the results of the BDO 2013 Social Media survey.

The internet and social media are changing the way that customers receive and access public services.  Last year, in response to demand from our clients in local authorities across the UK, we published "Updating your status: From Housing and Litter to Facebook and Twitter" which outlined the powers and potential of social media use within local government and suggested practical steps for councils to take to save money and improve resident satisfaction, whilst managing risk. The report outlined five simple steps to empower local authorities to use social media effectively in a time of deep cuts to the sector. 

This year we've updated this research to see what, if anything, has changed. We've again surveyed over 60 local government officers to identify the top issues affecting the use and success of social media within local authorities. We've also looked at whether there has been an increase in the uptake in digital media tools such as SMS, webchat and digiTV.  This year's survey has found that 98% of Councils are using some form of digital or social media however 71% of respondents still agree with the statement that "there is either lots of confusion or limited understanding about a social media strategy in my organisation". It also suggests that councils are struggling to demonstrate the savings that social media is delivering.

This year's report, Following the Trends, aims to address the challenges local authorities are still facing in making the most of using social and digital media to engage with their customers.  Supported by the results of the survey, we've developed some practical hints and tips to support local authorities to take use of social media to the next level, focusing on the three questions we get asked regularly: 

  • How do I make the case for social media in my organisation?
  • How can we manage risk and reputation?
  • What tools and support can we use to make the most of the medium?

Our report will be of value to any council seeking to develop their social media presence, better measure the impact of social media use, minimise risk or find the best tools to match their needs and support staff.

If you have any questions about using social media or if you would like to discuss how we can help you develop your authorities social media and digital strategy please contact Andy Mahon.


Andy Mahon

Tel. 0113 290 6150