August 05, 2011 / by Chris Pilbeam

Guest Post by Mark Reilly, Director, Vocus Government Relations.

The Congressional Management Foundation just released a very interesting report on how Congressional staff are using social media and their attitudes towards it. The results are eye-opening.  Here are some highlights:

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of senior managers and social media managers surveyed think Facebook is a somewhat or very important tool for understanding constituents’ views and opinions.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74%) of senior managers and social media managers think Facebook is somewhat or very important for communicating their Members’ views.
  • YouTube is viewed by nearly three quarters of staffers (72%) as somewhat or very important for communicating their Members’ views.
  • More than half (51%) of the staffers surveyed say Twitter is a somewhat or very important vehicle for their Members’ communications.
  • A majority of the staffers (55%) feel social media offers their offices more benefits than risks.
  • Crucially, a strong majority of staffers (72%) believe that social media allows their Members to reach people they had previously not communicated with.

So, what does it all mean? Just like businesses are doing with customers, Congressional staff are now using social media to gauge how their constituents feel about issues, and to reach their supporters directly with Members’ talking points.

Which begs the question:  What is your organization doing to leverage social media into your grassroots, grasstops or public affairs efforts?

Vocus Government Relations is one of the most influential software products in American politics. Hundreds of corporations, associations and non-profits use it to mobilize their grassroots networks, influence legis­lation and manage their PACs. To find out more, click here.

Image by JustGrimes (Creative Commons)

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