The Society of IT Management (Socitm) is asking local government IT managers whether, and why, they block social media sites at work.
The organisation wants to know whether local authorities see social media sites as a security threat, whether they drain bandwidth or whether they cause other problems.
Local government users have complained that IT departments are blocking their access to sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, which many staff say are essential to their jobs in areas like peer networking, communications, customer insight and community engagement.
Socitm said, "Socitm is keen to explore where blocking policies exist, whether these come from IT or elsewhere in the council, and on what grounds such policies have been put in place."
The survey will also look at ways councils have started using social media to improve efficiency and engage with citizens.
The results of the research will be published in a new report on the use of social media in local government, due in the autumn.