The Use of Social Media by the Botswana Government and Governance of Liquid Communication
Social media as a communication tool has enabled governments around the world to interact with citizens for customer service, access to information and to direct community involvement needs. The trends around the world show recognition by governments that social media content may constitute records and should be managed accordingly. The literature shows that governments and organisations in other countries, particularly in Europe, have social media policies and strategies to guide the management of social media content, but there is less evidence among African countries. Thus the purpose of this paper is to examine the extent of usage of social media by the Botswana government in order to determine the necessity for the governance of liquid communication. Liquid communication here refers to the type of communication that goes easily back and forth between participants involved through social media. The ARMA principle of availability requires that where there is information governance, an organisation shall maintain its information assets in a manner that ensures their timely, efficient and accurate retrieval. The study adopted a qualitative case study approach where data were collected through documentary reviews and interviews among purposively selected employees of the Botswana government. This study revealed that the Botswana government has been actively using social media platforms to interact with its citizens since 2011 for increased access, usage and awareness of services offered by the government. Nonetheless, the study revealed that the government had no official documentation on the use of social media, and policies and strategies that dealt with the governance of liquid communication. This study recommends the governance of liquid communication to ensure timely, efficient and accurate retrieval when needed for business purposes.