Agencies Often Don’t Answer Questions They Get Via Social Media, Survey Finds

Twin Design/

But the platforms are only growing and government should adapt.

Agencies only answer 72 percent of the questions citizens ask via social media, according to a new survey.

Information services firm J.D. Power determined that 30 percent of social media contacts with government are to ask a question or resolve a problem. But agencies respond to only 72 percent of those queries, the survey found.

“Obviously there’s a lot of opportunity or room for improvement,” said J.D. Power’s Greg Truex, who managed the study. “Because they are reaching out with a specific question -- and with social media being a growing channel for citizens to reach out -- 72 percent does seem a bit low.”

The Social Media Benchmark study is the first of what J.D. Powers expects to be regular studies of government’s use of social media. The full methods and results were released only to the 12 federal agencies examined in the study. With this baseline for comparison, future studies -- perhaps including the one that’s already planned for 2015 -- may be more fully published.

The study looked at two dozen social media platforms, Truex said, and included email lists among them. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were the most frequently used social media platforms for contacting government.

NASA was the only agency  cited for using social media particularly well, for both marketing and services, Truex said, attributing the success to the space agency’s early adaptation of social media, the breadth of platforms it uses actively and its “fun and entertaining” content.

(Image via Twin Design /

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