Government agencies are making considerable investments for exploiting the capabilities offered by ICT, and especially the Internet, to increase citizens’ engagement in their decision and policy making processes. However, this first generation of e-participation has been characterised by limited usage of the ‘official’ e-consultation spaces of government agencies by the citizens. The emergence of Web 2.0 social media offers big opportunities for overcoming this problem, and proceeding to a second generation of broader, deeper and more advanced e-participation. This paper presents a methodology for the efficient exploitation of Web 2.0 social media by government agencies in order to broaden and enhance e-participation. It is based on a central platform which enables posting content and deploying micro web applications (‘Policy Gadgets’-Padgets) to multiple popular Web 2.0 social media, and also collecting users’ interactions with them (e.g. views, comments, ratings) in an efficient manner using their application programming interfaces (API). These interactions’ data undergo various levels of processing, such as calculation of useful analytics, opinion mining and simulation modelling, in order to provide effective support to public decision and policy makers. The proposed methodology allows government agencies to adopt advanced and highly effective ‘hybrid’ e-participation approaches.