The Most Active U.S. Cities on Twitter

Social media use in the private sector mirrors government trends, according to survey analysts.

by / September 22, 2010

In this age of Web 2.0, where social media tools promote transparency, more and more people have no problem putting their business on the Internet.

But no city dominates Twitter like New York City, which recently ranked No. 1 in the country for having “the most active businesspeople on Twitter,” according to a recent report by NetProspex, a sales and marketing database company.

In the Social Business Report, analysts grouped business people into geographic areas and calculated a Twitter score based on the average number of Twitter accounts, tweets, number of followers and number of users following. After New York, which has a score of 790, came San Francisco (692.1), Washington, D.C., (220.3) and Sacramento, Calif., (135.1), with Phoenix (118.7) rounding out the top five.

As the adoption of social media continues to rise in the private sector, report analysts found interesting parallels between the overall business community and governments.

Data showed that the government services industry ranks 52 in overall social media usage, just behind funeral homes/funeral services, according to NetProspex analysts. But the order of the top social networks — LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter — looked the same in the public and private sectors.

About 3.4 percent of government agencies use LinkedIn, followed by Facebook at 1.4 percent and then Twitter with about 1 percent of agencies tweeting, according to the analysts. These figures, the analysts said, might shift in the near future.

“We’re really going to start to see interesting patterns,” said Michael Bird, chief revenue officer of NetProspex, “because Facebook and Twitter are closer to LinkedIn among government users than they are in the broader business community.”

Twitter specifically, has been gaining traction in government agencies, from public safety agencies sending updates about hazards to public works departments tweeting about the latest tract and parcel maps.

“I think what is happening today is our work worlds, social worlds and family worlds are all converging,” social media observer and World Wide Rave author David Meerman Scott told Government Technology. “They always have been interlinked, but I think social networking interlinks them even more. It’s difficult to keep those separate unless you’re prepared to not use social networking.”

Earlier this year, NetProspex released a report showing the most social corporations in America. The research shows how social media adoption continues to spread from sales and customer support to marketing and IT and throughout organizations.

In the latest report, which Bird said surveyed some 25,000 people in government and 2 million overall, NetProspex found that the business community is helping drive social media trends. And penetration thrives in cities such as Washington, D.C., where business and government circles overlap.

“Social media is hard for the government to get its arms around,” Bird said. “It’s transparent and it’s out there and in the early stages, a few people tend to do some crazy things.”

But as the private sector continues to push boundaries and see benefits in the world of Web 2.0, analysts expect the government sector to continue to follow suit.

See the full report and the top 50 “Twitter cities.”


Russell Nichols Staff Writer
Platforms & Programs