The Missouri Legislature on Social Media – 2013

The newly minted 97th General Assembly of the Missouri Legislature is increasingly more active on Social Media than the 96th General Assembly. Those seeking to grow relationships with their elected officials should be connecting with elected officials online as well as in the real world.

Although there is room for growth, rates of participation on Twitter reached majority levels in the Missouri House of Representatives and nearly every member of the Missouri Senate is on Facebook.

According to our research  of the newly sworn-in legislature and the two most popular Social Media platforms in Missouri, 140 of the 163 (85{1ccf3f7051f621f207bf0b5abe66fecd9fcbebd6ccca57cd81eaf6422f6a0a70}) House members and 32 of 34 (94{1ccf3f7051f621f207bf0b5abe66fecd9fcbebd6ccca57cd81eaf6422f6a0a70}) senators have some level of activity on Facebook. 93 representatives and 29 senators have also established a Twitter account for participation percentages of 57{1ccf3f7051f621f207bf0b5abe66fecd9fcbebd6ccca57cd81eaf6422f6a0a70} and 85{1ccf3f7051f621f207bf0b5abe66fecd9fcbebd6ccca57cd81eaf6422f6a0a70}, respectively. Our research of the 96th General Assembly showed 82{1ccf3f7051f621f207bf0b5abe66fecd9fcbebd6ccca57cd81eaf6422f6a0a70} House members had Facebook accounts and 49{1ccf3f7051f621f207bf0b5abe66fecd9fcbebd6ccca57cd81eaf6422f6a0a70} had Twitter accounts while 94{1ccf3f7051f621f207bf0b5abe66fecd9fcbebd6ccca57cd81eaf6422f6a0a70} of senators had Facebook profiles and only 56{1ccf3f7051f621f207bf0b5abe66fecd9fcbebd6ccca57cd81eaf6422f6a0a70} had Twitter profiles.

Levels of actual interaction and following the “rules” of Social Media prove to be a bit lower. Only 70 of the 93 House Twitter accounts have recent tweets (75{1ccf3f7051f621f207bf0b5abe66fecd9fcbebd6ccca57cd81eaf6422f6a0a70}) and 39 total elected officials are using their personal Facebook profile, instead of a Facebook Page, as their presence. The terms of service for Facebook state personal profiles are not to be used for business or promotional purposes, so we suggest members who do not have a Facebook Page established should set one up.

Past industry studies of Social Media show that roughly 2/3 of Twitter users are listeners – not talkers – so the level of active tweeters is actually much higher when compared to regular users. Legislators who are not broadcasting tweets are probably using the platform to stay connected with relevant conversations and colleague posts.

Our findings, linked here in Excel format, show which members are active, inactive, protected, or non-existent on Facebook and Twitter. We also provide direct links to members profiles on both platforms.

Gus Wagner

Gus Wagner is the President.Owner of The Rocket Group – an award-winning marketing and communications firm. The Rocket Group has specialized in building effective tools across traditional means and new media for clients in businesses, organizations, and nonprofits since 2001. Gus is also a five-time certified Social Media Strategist, a former Chief of Staff in the Missouri State Senate, a retired national champion amateur hockey coach, and a would like to be a singer/songwriter. His Welsh Corgi, Taffy, lets Gus and his wife, Farrah Fite, live with her in Jefferson City, Missouri.