One of the core elements of crisis management is to keep the effective and consistent communication between government agencies and citizens. The public sector is therefore increasingly adopting social media to respond to crises. Yet we know little about what drives the government performance on the use of social media during crises response. In this article, using data on 332 prefecture-level cities in China, we find three factors that affect the performance of social media use during the pandemic: slack resources, policy environment, and leadership. The negative binomial regression results show that fiscal resources and policy support are positively correlated to the government performance on the use of social media for crisis communication and management. Performance is also found to be better for those places led by younger generation of leaders or had medical science or mass media experience, while the severity of the pandemic and the public pressure have no significant effects on the performance. These study results have implications for swift government responses to pandemic heath crises.