International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online)

Exploring Social Media Obstacles and Opportunities within Public Agencies: Lessons from the Ohio Division of Wildlife
Corey H. Cockerill

Abstract
Advancements in social media technologies have transformed private, for-profit businesses since the inception of Facebook in 2004, the most widely-used social media application across the globe. Private businesses have capitalized on the web-based marketplaces that are created and expanded through virtual networks of “friends” and “followers.” The use of contemporary social media applications has contributed to increased levels of transparency, accountability and engagement for businesses, facilitating and enhancing their marketing and public relations efforts. For public, non-profit agencies, however, the adoption of social media technologies has been less successful. Particularly for state and federal agencies, the incorporation of social media applications into everyday operations has been stifled by the availability of human resources and restraints on technological resources—especially with regard to network security concerns. As is the case with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, for those agencies that have removed the barriers to adoption, the use of social media applications has demonstrated real potential to connect and interact with constituents. Because many state agencies provide public services, connecting with the public in a virtual one-on-one basis is essential to understanding shifts and changes in public perception and public need. This article presents a case example of a state agency?s adoption of social media applications in an effort to facilitate greater interaction among and between constituents.

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