SURVEY: U.S. Congressmen Really Like Facebook

Social media managers and senior staff on Capitol Hill prefer Facebook for communicating with constituents and sharing their members' views.

Members of Congress like it, they really like it… Facebook, that is.

According to survey findings released today, social media managers and senior staff on Capitol Hill prefer Facebook for understanding constituents views as well as sharing Members’ opinions.

The Congressional Management Foundation’s report, “Perceptions and Use of Social Media on Capitol Hill,” reveals that Congressional offices are embracing Facebook to gauge public opinion, communicate with constituents and reach new people.

In a Facebook D.C. Live event today, CMF Chief Executive Officer Bradford Fitch (pictured) contrasted social media with more traditional mainstream media:

The personality of members of Congress comes through on social media. These channels allow for an inside view of how the institution operates. For example, members can share their memories on a national holiday, like Memorial Day. Or discuss the tone of a caucus meeting.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • Nearly two out of every three (64 percent) of the 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 percent) of the senior managers and social media managers we surveyed think Facebook is somewhat or very important for communicating their Members’ views.
  • Almost three out of every four staffers (72 percent) believe that social media allows their members to reach people they had previously not communicated with.

Andrew Noyes, manager of public policy communications for Facebook in Washington, D.C. said:

We’re pleased that more than 400 members of Congress use Facebook to communicate and connect with their constituents in an official capacity. The Congressional Management Foundation’s new findings underscore how Facebook has empowered Capitol Hill offices and citizens to connect in a way that is simple, personal, and engaging.

Facebook is one of the few third-party websites that has been approved for official use by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Readers, what do you think of your elected officials’ use of Facebook?