WASHINGTON — It’s tempting to fire off a response to an elected representative in response to something he’s posted on social media, but it’s also easy to tell yourself that it won’t do any good. A new study, however, suggests such communication may be more effective than you think.
The Congressional Management Foundation surveyed more than 100 congressional staffers and found that nearly 80 percent said that it took fewer than 30 similarly themed social media comments for the office to pay attention — and 35 percent said it took fewer than 10 such posts to make staffers and members sit up and take notice.
Many staffers added that social media responses can influence a senator or representative who is undecided on an issue.
There are two caveats, though. First, you need to act fast: The survey indicates that staffers stop paying attention to comments on a post after about 24 hours.
Second, be specific: Only a little more than one-third of the respondents say that comments have enough information that they can tell that the commenter is really a constituent.
The survey is based on responses from 116 communications directors, legislative directors and legislative assistants. The summary is available here.
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