Members of Congress & Social Media: Beyond Facebook and Twitter
The Research Team (the Team) at LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin researched and assessed the current landscape of congressional social media use beyond Facebook and Twitter. The Team conducted quantitative and qualitative analyses to explore two questions:
- Which social media platforms are members of Congress using other than Facebook and Twitter?
- How are they using these platforms to present themselves to and communicate with the public and their constituents?
Beyond studying members of Congress, the Team collected data on social media use among candidates for open congressional seats and among members of the Texas Legislature for a more comprehensive understanding of elected officials' social media use. While members of Congress were the primary research focus, the November 2016 election allowed us to compare how candidates use social media when running for office with elected members' use in office. The Team's proximity and access to the Texas Legislature provided another opportunity for insight into elected officials' social media use.