Five Reasons County Officials Need to Tweet

1. Capitol Staffers are Watching. Whether a legislator is active on Twitter or not, their key staff — most of whom are young guns and ‘digital natives,’ according to Capitol advocacy expert Cary Roberts —are watching Twitter to gage public opinion about bills. Digital natives often prefer electronic communication (via email and social media) to phone calls and in-person visits because it’s more convenient.

2. Gotta Fight Fire With Fire. On Twitter, one person can take over a debate just by actively tweeting. If that person is on the other side of an issue, the only way to win the debate is to tweet back. 

3. The Media Loves It. Twitter is a great way to raise awareness and engage residents about legislative issues, since journalists often use Twitter to see what’s hot and what’s not. And residents on social media who engage in political discussions are more likely than non-social media users to influence their friends. “When it comes to influencing public policy, social media is the starting point,” Roberts said. 

4. It’s a Real-Time Newsfeed. By creating specific feeds from different users, agencies and legislators, Twitter allows users complete access to all the happenings of the legislative session while they are happening.

5. Tweets Have Wings. Users can retweet tweets they like, sending tweets not just to one group of followers, but to two groups, then three — and a tweet that flies, amplifies. “We want use Twitter to leverage and amplify what we are doing in the online space,” Roberts said. “It’s like, when I was in Boy Scouts before email, when you had your phone tree. This is the 2013 version of the phone tree.”




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