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Status of UK Local Councils Facebook Fan Pages and Groups as of 22nd July 2009

ATTENTION: You can now update your own local council details at LGEO Research’s Wiki Page! Please find latest updates there.

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Observations in January 2009

  • UK local councils tend to use fan pages rather than groups to deliver their services through Facebook. The differences between fan pages and groups are listed in the table below. This informational table was created by Authority Domains and the link can be found here.

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  • After observing all the councils facebook fan pages, I found Bracknell Forest Council Fan Page the most exciting to watch. It offers a different approach to how local councils can use Facebook to engage with citizens. They have search functions for events and organisations, which I also found on Kirklees Council which has a ‘Search Kirklees’ function. Bracknell also has a focus group, virtual tour, Do it online, google map on their contact us information and podcasts. While it does have other features, these are the features that interests me the most.
  • Visible Social Media Activity: Stradford-on-Avon District Council, St. Helens Council, Hillingdon Council, Lichfield District Council, Bracknell Forest Council, Kirklees Council, Barnet Council, Newcastle City Council and London Borough of Southwark.
  • Most fans: Barnet Council seems to have a large number of fans which I believe was down to the webteam and consultants effort to increase awareness both online and offline. We shall try to reveal their secrets on their applause worthy success in social media so far soon. 😉 Congrats Dom!
  • After surveying all the fan pages, not alot of these councils are utilising ‘The Wall’ service, which is my main interest. Hillingdon Council (8 posts) & Barnet Council (31 posts) are the only councils that seem to have visible interactions with fans on their wall. It begs the question on whether if UK local council facebook fan pages were created merely to create presence or a footprint online and deliver feeds or can they truly be effective by being interactive?
  • There is 1 facebook fan page that definitely stood out and which is Medway Councils Fuse Festival Fan Page. Medway Council has cleverly used the fan page to promote a local event. It currently has 98 fans (which now includes myself 😉 ). Here is a MySpace link for the same event http://www.myspace.com/fusemedway. Well done Simon!
  • I almost missed another attractive feature used by Lichfield District Council, which is their ‘Ask us a question’ service. I found this to be a very useful service as the public can ask questions while not exposing the council to unwanted questions or comments on their wall. Well done Stuart! Truly inspired. 🙂

Though there may still be a lot of questions surrounding the use of social media; specifically in this case, Facebook, I can see the potential in these services if they were delivered effectively and efficiently used to address the public concerns. Though I have to admit, only the councils themselves know the issues that concern their citizens, therefore only those councils will know how to display and use the services accordingly. With that said, no 2 council Facebook fan pages or groups will or should be identical. However there are a lot of practices that can be adopted across councils to encourage the uptake of their Facebook services.

If you wish to add your council to the list, kindly leave the link or details of your council in the comment box.

And please do correct me if I’m wrong or left anything out. Please forgive me! I’m only human 😉

Hope this post was useful!

About Liz Azyan

Liz is a CREATIVE digital professional dedicated to helping individuals, governments and businesses realize their digital goals. She offers digital consultancy services on her website LizAzyan.com Liz is also a Google Fellowship Recipient (individuals selected based on their work and initiative in the arenas of technology, politics and social entrepreneurship), an invited expert panel on the Guardian’s Public Leader Network and has spoken at many public events and conferences on the subject of digital engagement.

23 comments

  1. Liz,

    Just want to say how good it is to see someone publish their results freely. It hacked me off no end to be asked by an academic a while back for information and then to find he published it in a journal that cost £00s to buy.

    So well done and keep going!

    Shane

    • Hi Shane,

      Thank you for your kind comments. It truly motivates me to share even more information because I feel as academics, we have the power to share our research and actually have an impact on the industry we are involved in. Its sad to hear what has happened to you, it possibly discourages you from sharing information with other academics as well. Which is a shame because this is the main problem in progressing in research. Its really hard to get informants to talk to us. But everyone on twitter have been so kind to me and I really appreciate all the support I’ve gotten so far, so thank you so much for your support. It means a lot…

      Liz

  2. Shane’s right Liz. I don’t think that most academics understand what non-academic consultants have copped on to for some time now: That you should publish research like this and stay within the peripheral vision of as many people as you can – and that doing so means that people can add value to your work, but also that they can respond to it in a way that makes your work more valuable to whoever commissioned it.

    It’s odd how few academics seem to actually believe the social capital papers that they deliver as lectures!

    Thanks for this info – I’ll make sure that lots of local authorities see it and use it!

    Paul Evans’s last blog post..World map of social networks

    • Hi Paul,
      Thank you for your comments. I think we’re slowly moving in that direction. But once it catches on, I’m sure it will pick up quickly. I’ve had so many good responses and individuals offering their help on my research that most definitely will add an incredible amount of value to my work. And not to mention the contacts I’ve made that would have never materialized otherwise. You are absolutely right. I’m sure I can learn a lot from you and all your experience. Its great that we can come together and have an impact on each others work immediately. We need to move fast and the only way to keep up is if we collaborate all our efforts.

      Thanks again Paul. You’ve been a great support. 🙂

  3. Thanks again Liz, this is really useful (so is the collation of Twitter feeds for local gov).

    Do you have any plans to research other local gov activities – maybe Youtube channels?

    I’d started to jot down the ones I’ve found to date and happy to share if you want the info for your research(and do more with it than I have).

    • Hi Matt,
      I’m glad you’ve found the lists useful. 🙂 Yes Youtube definitely would be my next collation on top of list of councillors and MPs (tweetminster.com) who tweet and blog. Others are also coming along, too many to think of at the moment. A lot of hours go into collating these lists and any help is greatly appreciated! 😀 Please feel free to email me at liz.ainaz@gmail.com and look forward to seeing you here again.

  4. Hi,
    Just realised that you’ve got the wrong fan page for us. We’re still trying t establish who set up the ‘Sunderland City Council’ one but ours is http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1382277089&ref=profile#/pages/Sunderland-UK/52738181995?ref=nf

    • Hi Sunderland,
      I’m really sorry for the mistake. I shall keep to the list you sent me via email to ensure this doesn’t happen again. This has happen with twitter as well, as you can see here http://www.lgeoresearch.com/local-council-identity-fraud-twitter/

      I have updated your details on the table and appreciate you prompting me. This is a great way to ensure all my data is accurate. Hope you find out who the imposter is. Did you know about it before this table came out?

  5. Twitter Comment


    LGEO Research Data Update: 22 new UK Local Councils Facebook Fan Pages as of 13th July 2009 [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  6. Twitter Comment


    LGEO Research Data Update: 22 new UK Local Councils Facebook Fan Pages as of 13th July 2009 [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  7. Twitter Comment


    LGEO Research Data Update: 22 new UK Local Councils Facebook Fan Pages as of 13th July 2009 [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  8. Hi

    Trafford Council Strategic Planningare also on Facebook too and have been since June last year.

    Can be searched under “Trafford Strategic Planning”

    Thanks

  9. Hi Liz

    Please could you add Brighton & Hove City Council facebook fan page. We have 88 fans and counting…

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brighton-United-Kingdom/Brighton-Hove-City-Council/54869840070#

    ta
    Yvette Bordley
    Senior Marketing Officer
    Brighton & Hove City Council

  10. Hi,

    I am part of Solihull Community Housings Facebook Admin team, which consists of the costomer involvement manager, myself ( a 17 year old volunteer) and another volunteer who is also 17. We have taken over the page as volunteers with the fans incresing from 8 to 174. We have intrroduced new concepts to the facebook such as the free download of the organisastions documents as well as a new youth service called Y-POD, meaning youth pod. We have introduced a weekly blog which keeps people updated, we regulaly vist youth centres and do presentations publicising the pgae as well as producing posters and leaflets. We have done a number of newspaper interviews. The page also has pictures from events and a daily news update. Have a look from and outsiders view point and see what you think. You can contact me at through the youth information service from Solihull Community Housing ypod@live.co.uk.

    Thanks

    Adam

    Thanks

  11. Hi

    Just wanted to say this was really interesting to read – but wondered if there was any research as to ALMO’s and Housing Associations who have Facebook pages. We have a really successful page which is administered by two young people.

    I have tried to find others using this but seem to draw blanks.

    Great information though.

    Thanks

    Michelle

  12. Hi, useful information thanks!
    I just don’t understand one thing: on which basis you conclude that fb pages are “etter for long-lasting relationships with clients and creating an interactive community with them”?
    thanks a lot in advance!!

  13. I like the idea that local councils use Facebook to instantly connect with people. It brings councils closer to the communities they serve.

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