Tips, Tidings, and Tech: Governmental Communication on Facebook During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ehsan Ul Haq, Tristan Braud, Lik Hang Lee, Reza Hadi Mogavi, He Zhang, Pan Hui

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic led governments to rely on the versatility of social media to communicate with their citizens. This paper analyzes the Facebook communication of political leaders and health departments from 17 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluate the citizen's response under the frameworks of media richness and user engagement. We note that governments and leaders communicate primarily through richer media (photos and videos), despite a negative correlation between media richness and user engagement. Plain-Text messages posted by country leaders attract the most engagement, while their COVID-19 communication tends to generate lower engagement. On the other hand, health departments' pages experienced a sharp increase in engagement around COVID-19 communication as citizens sought information during the pandemic. Finally, topical analysis shows that Discussions and Co-Use of COVID-19 with other topics can boost citizens' engagement. Our comparative analysis shows practical implications for social media users and social media designers. Our findings can help governments and organizations design effective social media communication during crises.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research
Subtitle of host publicationIntelligent Technologies, Governments and Citizens, DGO 2022
EditorsLoni Hagen, Mihkel Solvak, Sungsoo Hwang
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages105-117
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450397490
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research: Intelligent Technologies, Governments and Citizens, DGO 2022 - Virtual, Online, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 15 Jun 202217 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference23rd Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research: Intelligent Technologies, Governments and Citizens, DGO 2022
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
CityVirtual, Online
Period15/06/2217/06/22

Keywords

  • Citizen Engagement
  • COVID-19
  • Media Richness
  • Risk Communication
  • Social Media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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