The Use of Social Media in Public Administration: the Case of Slovakian Local Self-government

Main Article Content

Ondrej Mitaľ

Abstract

Regarding constantly growing importance of information technologies public organizations try to find optimal solution, which might help to increase the qualitative aspects of relationship between governments and citizens. Experts argue that social media usage have potential to foster participation and engagement of the public. The aim of study is to analyse Facebook profiles of selected Slovakian cities, focusing on the general features of social network usage, content and the purpose of posts published over a four-year period. Besides, the article tries to be theoretical and practical insight to application of social media in public administration. The main finding is based on statement that analysed official Facebook pages mostly include informational posts while calling for opinion and calling for participation represent significantly lower part of total posts. Simultaneously, positive impacts of social media usage have been identified both for public organizations and wider public. Simultaneously, the benefit of the article is associated with fostering an interest in examined issues of social media usage, which we hope might improve the quality of social media strategies and benchlearning processes in other Slovakian cities and hopefully other local self-government units in the European territory. Finally, various limits and perspectives of social media use are discussed in the final part of the article, specially of ideals of democracy, cybersecurity, policymaking, as well as participation and engagement of citizens.

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Author Biography

Ondrej Mitaľ, Faculty of Public Administration, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice

Ondrej Mitaľ, PhD, is now working as an Assistant professor at the Department of Public Policy and
Theory of Public Administration, Faculty of Public Administration of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice. His main research activities are focused on the impacts of globalization processes on local self-government, the implementation of ethical principles in local self-government, as well as the application of innovative tools, which might foster openness and transparency in local governance. Correspondence: Ondrej Mitaľ, Faculty of Public Administration, Pavol Jozef Šarárik University in Košice, Popradská 66, 040 11 Košice, Slovakia. E-mail: ondrej.mital@upjs.sk