Senate Republicans are the Most Prolific Twitter and Facebook Users in U.S. Congress

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Senate Republicans love their Twitter and Facebook.


A new study from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says GOP senators are the most prolific Tweeters in Congress, posting an average of 1.53 messages a day.


Senate Democrats were the second biggest users of Twitter (1.49 Tweets on average), followed by House Republicans (1.23) and House Democrats (1.09).


Senate Republicans also put up an average of 0.84 posts per day on Facebook, making them the most frequent users on Capitol Hill of the popular social media website.


In terms of lawmakers’ social media topics, the study came up with seven categories. The most frequent is “position taking” (41% of Tweets and 39% of Facebook posts). It is followed by “district or state” subjects (26% of Tweets and 32% of Facebook posts), “official action” (17% of Tweets and 21% of Facebook posts), and “policy statements” (16% of Tweets and 16% of Facebook posts).


The fifth category is “media,” in which the congressional Tweeter may hype himself (“I’m quoted in a Portsmouth Daily Times news report…,” said one Tweet cited in the report). The sixth category is “personal” (“Great meeting with the pres. of my alma mater. Go Cardinal!” said another). The final category is a catch-all for everything else.


The CRS study did not indicate how often members of Congress use Twitter or Facebook interactively to read or respond to messages from constituents or others. However, it did point out that, during the past two decades, the amount of postal mail sent to lawmakers has decreased by 50%. The study didn’t say if this is due to the country’s increased use of electronic mail, or if the public has just given up on Congress.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman


To Learn More:

Senate Republicans Lead Congressional Use of Twitter, CRS Says (by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News)

Social Networking and Constituent Communications: Members’ Use of Twitter and Facebook During a Two-Month Period in the 112th Congress (by Matthew Eric Glassman, Jacob R. Straus, and Colleen J. Shogan, Congressional Research Service) (pdf)

10 Members of Congress and Their Tweets (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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