Washington, D.C., September 10, 2010 – Eight of the ten most followed Twitter accounts maintained by members of Congress are held by Republicans, according to a new study of congressional Twitter usage. The research is part of an ongoing series of digital public affairs studies published today by Burson-Marsteller.
According to this study of all current sitting members of the House and Senate, Republican members of Congress are utilizing Twitter for outreach and engagement at significantly higher rates than their Democratic colleagues. Seventy-two percent of Republicans have active Twitter accounts compared to just 55% of the Democrats who utilize the micro-blogging platform.
In addition, Republican members of Congress up for reelection were more likely to have campaign-focused accounts (39%) than Democrats (31%). Republicans also exceed Democrats in the number of followers per campaign-focused account (4,820 for Republicans vs. 2,972 for Democrats).
“The 2008 presidential election demonstrated the potential of the social and digital media space to engage supporters and build online communities to impact electoral outcomes,” said Dallas Lawrence (@dallaslawrence), managing director of digital public affairs for Burson-Marsteller. “2009 highlighted the power of social media to impact public opinion and influence legislative and regulatory outcomes at the state and federal level. As we enter the final stretches of the 111th Congress, 2010 is clearly emerging as the year of social media’s dominance in the advocacy, stakeholder outreach and legislative arenas. This study clearly indicates that with two months before the general election, Republicans in Congress are much more visible and better positioned within the Twittersphere.”
These findings come as the entire House of Representatives and 22 senators face re-election this November. Key findings of the study include:
- Republicans make up 65% of the most followed congressional Twitter accounts.
- Republicans are also more likely to retweet other users’ posts (64%) when compared with Democrats (41%), signaling that Republican members of Congress are more engaged and listening to other Twitter users.
- More Republican members of Congress are using the “@” function to directly refer to other users (67%) than House Democratic accounts (50%).
The Top 10 most followed congressional accounts overall:
||Most Followed Congressperson|
||John McCain (R)|
||John Boehner (R)|
||Jim DeMint (R) |
||Claire McCaskill (D)|
||Scott Brown (R)|
||Eric Cantor (R)|
||Barbara Boxer (D)|
||Michele Bachmann (R)|
||Chuck Grassley (R)|
||Paul Ryan (R)|
To access the complete analysis of the study, including specific Twitter rankings for the House and Senate, click here for the report.
About this Study
Burson-Marsteller investigated the Twitter accounts of all 533 current representatives and senators. Data was collected by Burson-Marsteller’s Global Research Team from June—July 2010 based on tweets from June 2010.
Burson-Marsteller (www.burson-marsteller.com), established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, advertising and web-related services. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 67 offices and 71 affiliate offices, together operating in 98 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Brands, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s leading communications services networks.