Is Hart antisocial? Fewest witter followers of Hampshire councils
‘Social media is rightly used but should not surpass other forms of communication,’ says councillor
HART District Council has the worst Twitter follower rate in Hampshire, a report has found.
With only 934 followers on the social networking website, this works out at just one follower per 99 people in Hart.
The findings by the News & Maill looked at the Twitter accounts of local authorities in Surrey and Hampshire to find two things – how many followers they have and what their “follower rate” was based on their population.
In Surrey, Guildford Borough Council has the highest number of followers at 5,868, with them keeping up dated on news, information and advice. It has one follower per 24 people in Guildford.
Hart launched its Twitter feed @HartCouncil 14 months ago but Councillor James Radley, cabinet member for corporate and customer services, said he had seen a steady increase in the number of followers and the level of interaction since then. “We felt it important to introduce social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, in the work that we do here at Hart District Council to embrace the different communication channels that our residents and businesses are actively using,” he said.
“For a local authority the use of social media as a communication tool is rightly used, however it should not surpass, or be at the expense of, other forms of communication.”
Twitter allows councils to quickly inform residents about the latest news, information and service updates. It engages residents in conversation and refers them back to the council’s website for more details.
But it also allows complainants to publicly express their views of the council’s services in front of large audiences.
With a similar population to Hart, Rushmoor has double the number of followers at 1,866.
Rushmoor Borough Council started using Twitter in 2012 following the launch of its new website.
A spokesman for Rushmoor said: “We wanted to promote our website and online services so that our customers know what services we offer and how they can access them at a time that suits them and Twitter is a useful way to do this.
“We were also aware that residents wanted to contact us via Twitter with their queries and comments and we felt we should respond to that demand.
“Twitter also offered an opportunity to promote the area and local events to a wider audience.
“We have found it particularly useful to help us get out urgent and important messages to the public, for example, during bad weather and when we had to postpone the fireworks spectacular in Aldershot last year.”
Across the border in Surrey, Waverley Borough Council has 2,576 followers, which works out as at one follower per 48 people in Waverley.
For Surrey Heath Borough Council, the ratio is slightly – one follower per 30 people – and 2,929 followers.
A spokesman for Surrey Heath said: “Twitter is a great way to share information with residents, local busi- nesses and the wider public.
“It enables our followers to see exciting snippets on what’s happening in Surrey Heath, including events, council news and up-to-the minute information about the local area.
“We would love for even more residents to follow us @surreyheath.
“As well as Twitter, we use a range of other social media such as Facebook and YouTube.”
The data is correct as of 11am on Monday.
Hart District Council’s Twitter account shows it is following 102 people and has 939 followers.