Report: Email, Twitter & SEO Increasing Citizen Engagement with Governments

The citizen engagement strategies working for government was gleaned from an analysis of over 4,000 Granicus government clients — email, Twitter and SEO are achieving success.

“Better engagement translates into better outcomes for organizations and their priorities such as program adoption, participation in public meetings, or voter turnout, according to Granicus CEO Mark Hynes, in a prepared statement about the cloud-based software solutions to government provider’s third 2018 Benchmark Report.

The report can provide public sector leaders with proven metrics that enhance government digital strategies to engage more residents. Based on an in-depth analysis of the engagement metrics of more than 4,000 federal, state, local and U.K. organizations that use Granicus solutions, the report focuses on the top three channels used by governments to communicate with citizens – email, websites and social media.

The effort required analyses of 1.6 million emails and behavior data from 185 million citizen subscribers on more 400,000 webpages from June 2017- June 2018.

“In today’s data-rich environment, public sector communicators are turning to digital platforms that generate real-time performance metrics and deliver insights that can enhance their approach to citizen engagement,” said Hynes.

Key findings:

  • Government Email Leads the Way: Emails sent by the public sector regularly meet or exceed private and nonprofit sector benchmark metrics. Granicus found an overall open rate for government emails of 21 percent in 2018, a rate that has remained constant over the past three years. That compares to approximately 18 percent for the private sector and 16 percent for the nonprofit sector.
  • Email Engagement is Trending Upward: The median engagement rate increased slightly to 47 percent this year, compared to 45 percent in 2017, meaning that government communications teams are better targeting and accurately messaging to citizens needs.
  • Twitter Gets Shared Most Often, YouTube Gets Clicked: Government agencies have realized the power of social media to convey messages and deliver customer service. Granicus research finds that links to Twitter were the most likely to be shared in government emails, however, YouTube links were the most likely to be clicked, clearly demonstrating the power of video.
  • The Future is Mobile: The 2018 analysis revealed that half of all traffic to government websites comes from mobile devices, a number that has increased nearly 10 percent since 2016 is only expected to grow in the future; yet, most government websites are not mobile enabled.
  • Strong SEO is Critically Important: Sixty percent of traffic comes from organic search, so the continued emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO) is vital.

Included with the Granicus 2018 findings are tips for improving each metric and an example of an organization that is performing well in that area. Granicus drew on the best practices of the current clients including the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (overlay impact), Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (email subscription per subscriber) and Calcasieu Parish, La. (mobile-responsive website design).

As our client base grows, so does the level of insight we have into the alternatives to expensive traditional marketing methods. Using email campaigns, mobile-enabled websites and social strategically can improve citizen reach and drive better connections between government and the people they serve,” added Hynes.

Review and download the full report:

Guide 2018 Benchmark by Ed Praetorian on Scribd

About Granicus

Granicus provides technology that empowers government organizations to create better lives for the people they serve. By offering the industry’s leading cloud-based solutions for communications, meeting and agenda management and digital services to more than 4,000 public sector organizations, Granicus helps turn government missions into quantifiable realities. Granicus products connect more than 185 million people, creating a powerful network to enhance government transparency and citizen engagement. By optimizing decision-making processes, Granicus strives to help government realize better outcomes and have a great impact for the citizens they serve.

Learn more about government use of social media tools:

Report: How Government Uses Social Media Tools

About the author

EfficientGov Staff

EfficientGov is an independent information service providing innovative solutions to fiscal and operational challenges facing cities and towns around the world.