By Marcus Leach

The Met Office has won the Best Use of Social Media award in the public sector at the Computer Weekly’s Social Media Awards 2011, sponsored by IBM.

Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and our news blog we help people keep up to date about the latest weather so that they know what to expect and how best to deal with all that the British weather can throw at us as a nation.

Through our social media channels, we’re reaching more than 75,000 people, and this continues to grow daily. Our @metoffice Twitter channel has over 40,000 followers, and we are available to respond to weather queries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that our followers are only one tweet away from the latest weather information.

Our events calendar was introduced in January 2010 and covers events such as Glastonbury, Wimbledon and Bonfire night. Year on year growth has seen an increase of 183% and as well as generating visits it also drives revenue through advertising and sponsorship.

“We are delighted to receive this award for our use of social media. It’s absolutely fantastic to be recognised as leading the way in the use of social media in the public sector," John Hirst, Chief Executive of the Met Office said.

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