Study: Channels SG govt uses most to convey messages to citizens and which works best

Twitter and Facebook are popular platforms for ministries and statutory boards in Singapore. Twitter formed the largest proportion of content pieces published (54.47%) during the first half of this year (H1 2021), while Facebook commanded the largest share of total interactions (75.66%).

The report also found that Instagram engagement grew from 14.55% during H1 2020 to 20.39% during H1 2021, according to Emplifi’s Singapore Government Performance Benchmark Report. Compared to ministries, statutory boards published more content on Twitter and Facebook. Statutory boards also received more interactions on Instagram. On the other hand, ministries had higher interactions on Facebook during H1 2021. 

Overall, users remained highly engaged on social media with government profiles. Continuing the 2020 trend, the report found that the audience remained highly engaged with 51.07% user-generated content published as well as 3.35 million interactions generated across all government social media profiles in H1 2021. 

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That said, ministries and statutory boards witnessed a slight increase in negative sentiment during Q2 2021, with spikes of negative comments sporadically in week 20 and week 25 respectively. PA, MOH and MOE each had one content piece that attracted the highest negative sentiment.

According to Emplifi, the most negative comment was a post by PA about the use of a wedding photo for Hari Raya decorations. The post had a 51% share of negative comments.

Interestingly, netizens shared more content from ministries and statutory boards on social media in H1 2021. The bulk of user-generated content came from ministry profiles, with a total of 19,382 pieces of content. According to Emplifi, the content seemed to be well-received, thus motivating readers to share them with followers more frequently (12,808 shares) compared with the same period last year (5,154 shares).

While Twitter had the most content pieces posted, there were actually more comments on Facebook posts instead of Twitter, with the exception of MOE and MEWR, which still saw Twitter comments dominating. Meanwhile, MHA led the pack in terms of the total number of comments it drew in H1 2021, jumping from 123 comments in H1 2020 to 1,841 comments this year. Out of the 1,841, 1,830 comments were on Facebook.

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Social media activity by ministries and statutory boards

PUB and GovTech published 2.6 times and 1.7 times more content respectively this year compared to H1 2020. As a result, PUB went from 18th to fourth place in terms of volume of content published while GovTech jumped from 12th to fifth place. In particular, PUB's content volume peaked from March to April due to its "The Climate is Changing" campaign. Meanwhile, NEA, MOH and MOE remain the top three content publishers across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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In terms of social media interactions, MOH, MINDEF and MuslimSG remained among the top five government bodies that drove the highest audience interactions in H1 2021 compared to 2020. On the other hand, PUB and MOE were replaced by NPB and LTA, with Instagram engagements playing a big role in their success, the report said. MOH was the only government body to surpass one million interactions in H1 2021, with 98% of interactions taking place on Facebook.

While ministries and statutory boards received consistent daily interactions on social media during H1 2021, the report saw spikes in MuslimSG's interactions in the week of 26 April to 2 May and another spike in the week of 10 to 16 May. The first spike was attributed to a promoted Facebook post on "how to perform Tahajjud prayer at home" while the second spike was due to several Facebook and Instagram posts around Hari Raya. MuslimSG hit the nail on the head in terms of pushing out timely and relevant videos which were not only educational and informational but also short-form in nature.

According to Emplifi, interactions are related to content publishing time and the set of content can be defined by profiles, content labels, or profile labels and filtered using various parameters. 

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Instagram remained the platform with the highest engagement rate (1.10%) and had an increase in share of voice from 59.44% to 72.8%. On the other hand, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter saw a decline in their share-of-voice, highlighting the ever-growing opportunity for government bodies to tap into Instagram to engage their audience.

Ministries continued to gain a larger share of voice than statutory boards in H1 2021.

The Public Transport Council and MuslimSG remained among the top five ministries and statutory boards with the highest average engagment rates.

Meanwhile, MinLaw, STB and PUB slipped in rankings and were surpassed by MHA, the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment, and EDB.

According to Emplifi, the engagement rate for an individual post shows the number of Interactions of a post per fan. Engagement rate is therefore calculated by dividing the number of Interactions of a post by the number of fans from the day the post was published. The value is finally multiplied by 100 and displayed as a percentage. The engagement rate for a set of posts is calculated as a simple average of individual post engagement rates.


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While YouTube did not garner as much interactions and engagement compared to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, it was still a useful channel for Workforce Singapore. According to the report, its YouTube videos jumped from 388,911 views last year to more than nine million views in H1 2021. This made Workforce Singapore the top performing government body by YouTube videos. Coming in second was HPB with close to five million YouTube views.

Throughout H1 2021, Workforce Singapore released 23 videos through its "Voice that Care" campaign of which top two videos attracted more than one million views. According to Emplifi, its YouTube videos resonated with netizens because they were short-form videos, realistic and relatable, and inspirational.

Join our Digital Marketing Asia conference happening from 9 November 2021 - 25 November 2021 to learn about the upcoming trends and technologies in the world of digital. Check out the agenda here.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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