Social media providing new access to lawmakers

| Friday, October 14, 2011

Methods for corresponding with elected officials have evolved through the years from a handwritten letter to email to communicating back and forth in 140 characters. Today, it has never been easier for people to let lawmakers in DC, their home state, or around the block know what they think about issues of concern.

More and more federal, state and local officials are using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to get their message out and to also respond to constituents.

Congressional lawmakers make a point of communicating via social media. To access a list compiled by Land Line of federal lawmakers on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, click here.

Governors take a backseat to no one when it comes to catching the social media wave. According to a recent Stateline.org examination of four social media services, 49 of 50 governors are communicating via Facebook or Twitter – with the exception of Wyoming. About 70 percent of governors use YouTube to get their messages out by video. In addition, more than half of all governors use Flickr. See for yourself here.

The big two political parties have also made their presence known on social media. Republicans and Democrats in all 50 states use Facebook and Twitter. In fact, every state, with the exception of Louisiana, has multiple pages on both sites. There are about 12 states with at least a half dozen unique pages on each site – such as the Iowa House Democrats and Tennessee Senate Republicans.

Land Line has created pages that list the party accounts for each state on Facebook and Twitter. Visiting the accounts can provide insight into the thoughts of a particular lawmaker, or to get the political party’s message on an issue.

Editor’s Note: Please share your thoughts with us about the story topic. Comments may be sent to statelegislativedesk@ooida.com.

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