Impact of Social Media Platform on Governance

Over the past two decades, Social Media has revolutionized the way people communicate and interact with each other. It has promulgated new forms of social interactions by providing platforms to initiate dialogues, exchange ideas & information and promotes collaboration. The rise of Social Media opens the door to the possibility of Social Governance in which governments are leveraging social media platforms to communicate and engage with their citizens. Additionally, social media has facilitated the Social Government to become more transparent and accountable to its target audience.

Rise of Social Governance in India

There is a lot of potential in social media to be used for governance purpose, but this has not been capitalized on in most of the contexts. Governments have been using Social Media as a platform for dissemination of information to the citizens with no provisions to act on the feedback from the citizens.

However in recent times we have seen politicians/ministers/government departments using Social Media platforms to provide better services to the citizens. For instance the Railway Minister helped a female passenger being harassed by a man in the coach. The minister immediately sent help within the next 40 minutes of the Twitter post made by the woman. In another instance, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh showed how relief work in some of the cyclone hit areas can be carried out more effectively using the Social Media Platform. Similarly, there are many other examples where ministers/government departments have been taking advantage of the Social Media for prompt delivery of service.

Governments have been taking advantage of Social Media platforms for emergency alerts, public announcements, traffic updates, citizen services, crime prevention, etc. Today, government bodies are looking to leverage this platform to make governance more collaborative and participatory. Moreover, technological advances are making the services provided by the government, just a mouse click away.

Capitalizing on social media

Tools like Business Process Management and Enterprise Content Management, through social media integration, can extend the reach of services to a broader set of public in a shorter period of time. This can enable citizens to post their complaints, grievances, queries, etc directly on the department’s official page, which can be automatically routed to the concerned person in the department for appropriate action. Emergency alerts can also be triggered in case of volcanoes, Tsunamis, Earthquakes, etc which can be published on the social media pages of the citizens, sent through Emails, SMS, etc.

These tools, when integrated with Social Media, can prove to be very instrumental in policy making, economic development, crisis management etc by capturing citizen feedback, opinions and suggestions in real time and leading towards a democracy which is participatory and collaborative.

In this era of social media dominance, technological tools like Business Process Management and Enterprise Content Management, when integrated with social media, can be used by the government bodies to make governments work smarter and better.