Naperville, Ill., can claim some new bragging rights. A University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) study ranks the western Chicago suburb No. 1 among social media use by Illinois’ 20 largest cities, according to the Chicago Tribune. The study also found increased use of social media by cities across the country.
Researchers at UIC’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs examined city websites across Illinois. They found that Naperville was tops in using social media to inform and engage city residents, followed by Chicago and Elgin.
Naperville supplements its main website with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RSS feeds and about two dozen e-newsletters. The city is also looking into a mass notification system similar to a reverse . “They just make it really easy for people to find out about their community and get the kind of information that could be used for intervening on issues and becoming involved,” Karen Mossberger, one of the study’s authors, told the Tribune.
The UIC study found that many U.S. cities are using social media. It said that among the 75 largest cities, 87 percent used Twitter in 2011, up from 25 percent in 2009. Facebook use increased during that period as well, with 87 percent of large cities using that social media tool in 2011, compared with 13 percent two years earlier.
Among Illinois cities, according to the UIC study, the top local government websites for social media use, from one to 10 are: Naperville, Chicago, Elgin, Evanston, Aurora, Schaumburg, Peoria, Decatur, Arlington Heights, Champaign, Skokie (tied for 9th) and Rockford.