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Twitter study applauds MN congressional delegation, finds Republicans are best tweeters

Suffice it to say Anthony Weiner was not found to be a particularly effective tweeter.
Suffice it to say Anthony Weiner was not found to be a particularly effective tweeter.

An impressively detailed new study looking at how Congress members use Twitter recognizes Minnesota's congressional delegation as some of the best social networkers around, but finds that Republicans, overall, use Twitter more effectively than Democrats.

The study, "Capitol Tweets: Yeas and Nays of the Congressional Twitterverse," was put together by public relations firm Edelman. Using the TweetLevel measurement tool, it analyzed all 456 congressional Twitter handles and ranked them by "Influence," "Engagement," "Popularity," and "Trust." To learn more about the methodology, click here.

Among the findings: Keith Ellison ranked among the top ten in influence, engagement, and trust (eighth, fifth, and eighth respectively); Michele Bachmann's handle is the sixth most popular; and Al Franken's is the fourth most trusted.

Ellison is one of the best tweeters in Congress, according to Edelman.
Ellison is one of the best tweeters in Congress, according to Edelman.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that Republicans dominate Democrats in Twitter savviness. According to the study, "Republicans in Congress used Twitter more effectively than Democrats... [receiving] almost twice as many replies as Democrats on average." Another factor? Republicans tweet about legislation 3.5 times more often than Democrats.

The study goes on to identify best Twitter practices for Congress members, which by and large reads like a list of what to do for any Joe Bagadonuts with a handle. Among them: tweet regularly, include links to relevant and compelling content, use hashtags, tweet about specific legislation, retweet other users, and be strategic with replies.

As for what not to do? Answering that question doesn't require a TweetLevel equation -- rather, just an interview with disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner regarding his self-destructive Twitpic propensities.


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