Going 'Bald on Record': Relationships among Public Officials' Social Media Behavior and Language Use
Posted: 20 May 2017
Date Written: 2012
How public officials communicate with their constituents and the public as a whole has been explored in terms of the traditional media, but research on their communication via social media has been, at best, largely descriptive and, at worst, unreliable for its lack of rigor. This paper assesses connections between Members of Congress’s communication strategies and voting behaviors. Additionally, at an exploratory level, it examines how using different communication tactics via social media impacts the size of one’s audience. Using the largest sample to date of Twitter-based statements (30,373) by all “tweeting” members of congress (380), our results show significant party, gender, and congressional chamber-based differences in both communication strategy and voting patterns. We also confirm that this strategy is paying off for House Republicans, who enjoy larger audiences on Twitter relative to their peers.
Keywords: twitter, congress, political communication
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