As social media tools become more popular at all levels of government, more research is needed to determine how the platforms can be used to create meaningful citizen–government collaboration. Many entities use the tools in one-way, push manners. The aim of this research is to determine if sentiment (tone) can positively influence citizen participation with government via social media. Using a systematic random sample of 125 U.S. cities, we found that positive sentiment is more likely to engender digital participation but this was not a perfect one-to-one relationship. Some cities that had an overall positive sentiment score and displayed a participatory style of social media use did not have positive citizen sentiment scores. We argue that positive tone is only one part of a successful social media interaction plan, and encourage social media managers to actively manage platforms to use activities that spur participation.