Humphrey study ranks lawmakers on Twitter

Categories: Social Str@tegy
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You might think that politics and blatant self promotion would go hand in hand, but not so much when it comes to Twitter and our fine elected representatives in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. That's according to new numbers offered by the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute on its Smart Politics blog.

Eric Ostermeier posted the results of the survey this morning. Among the findings:

Six of 67 state senators and 23 of 134 state representatives keep Twitter accounts.

Minnesota's Republican lawmakers at the state and national level are outnumbered by Democrats, but they are on a more or less equal footing with Democrats when it comes to the percentage of members in each delegation who use Twitter.

Republicans, both at the state and national level, have more followers on Twitter than do Democrats, by a 13,742-10,646 margin. However, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's almost 8,000 followers make of the lion's share of those GOP numbers. The Democrat with the largest following? U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, with 3,455.

In St. Paul, DFL House speaker Margaret Kelliher has the most followers, 919, followed by GOP Minority Leader Marty Seifert, with 654.

Republicans in general tweet more than DFLers, and New Prague Republican Rep. Laura Brod "remains the Twitter Queen." She's updated per page 351 times since opening her account in March.

Still, if the numbers are right, just 29 state lawmakers are using what is arguably the hottest social networking tool on the Internet (The study points out that they're using Twitter at a much greater rate than the public generally.)

Maybe they think it's a little too, I don't know, trendy maybe? After all,  if you spend too much time posting 140 character updates, before you know it people will align you with the likes of Ashton Kutcher

Perhaps they ought to read yesterday's story in the New York Times, in which a teenager told a reporter that he didn't want to get a Twitter account because it all seemed a little too grown-up for him. The Times story cobbles together some recent research that says adults, not teenagers, are driving the growth of social media outlets: just 11 percent of teenagers use Twitter. Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn? Voting-age folks lead useage in all of them by wide, wide margins.

Or perhaps they ought to stop by Friday's Social Media Breakfast at the Minnesota State Fair, where more than 300 folks, many of them marketing pros, are expected to gather. Marketing and politics go hand in hand, after all.
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