Sheffield council to trim its Tweets

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Everyone seems to have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – but how much social media is too much?

Sheffield Council could have the answer after it was revealed the authority has 46 social media accounts.

The accounts, mostly on Twitter and Facebook, are managed as part of the general work of customer service and communications staff, not by separately paid employees, but even so the authority is now looking at streamlining its profiles.

Sheffield markets, council housing, the events team, Recycle4Sheffield, SCC Volunteering and the planning and building control departments all have their own Twitter accounts, for example, and there is a Moor Market account on Facebook, as well as pages for Sheffield libraries, archives and information group, and Sheffield fostering service.

The number has come in for criticism from opposition councillors - who also found £500 has been spent ‘boosting’ posts on Facebook.

Coun Andrew Sangar, Liberal Democrat spokesman for finance, said: “We know the way people communicate is changing but to have 46 separate accounts for one organisation is absurd. It’s also quite pathetic for the council to be throwing money at Facebook, to get more ‘likes’ for its posts.”

But the council said the boosted Facebook posts were about The Big Switch, to save residents energy and money.

A full audit of accounts is now being carried out to ‘ensure the council is fully maximising the potential of social media as a low-cost form of communication’.

A spokesman added: “We are not saying there will be a single account but there is probably a case to put some together. Social media does tend to get to to quite hard-to-reach groups like young people. And it would come into its own during situations like the 2007 floods.”

Your views online:

Jason Holyhead - “The majority of Sheffield councillors are very easy to reach thanks to social media. Surely a good thing.”

Andy Nolan - “It’s an effective way of tailoring feeds and is relatively cheap.”

Ian Pegg - “Surely one account giving out all the information stops confusion.”

Jennifer Carter - “Depends if the social media got to the right people? If it has, it worked!”

Andy Rich - “Sounds way cheaper than sending letters to every Sheffield household.”

Peter Flynn - “Tells us how they spend their precious time.”