Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science


With 73 percent of people 18 and older actively using social media, it is becoming a mainstream method of communication for the American public (Lenhart et al. 2010, 18). If the government wants to effectively engage the public, it must leverage this opportunity. There is an apparent need for the government to keep up with the media shift by incorporating the use of social media into its traditional communication methods. Social networking sites have offered a way for the government and the public to engage each other in a two-way communication because they allow interaction among users. If the government effectively uses social media to reach out to the public, its efforts could better address the public interest, learn from the community, and improve relationships.

This case study uses Murdough’s (2009) social media metrics and construct to examine the social media program that was implemented in Region 4 of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Data from the region’s primary Twitter account were measured to determine if the region is effectively reaching and engaging its target audience, which are the American public and federal employees. Overall, the results from this case study reveal the region’s progress thus far. The study also discusses strengths and weaknesses of the current program. While the analysis provides recommendations for the region’s social media program to better serve its audience, the findings from this study serve as a benchmark.