By Rachel Greenway for ohmygov.com
The strongest Tweeter in Congress is Allen West (R-FL) of the House of Representatives, who averages 112 retweets per every tweet he sends. That means that 112 different people find what he says interesting enough to share on their own walls every time he posts something new. West sent only 31 tweets last month, but collected a robust 3,501 retweets from his 43,000 Twitter followers who soak up his 140 characters ravenously.
On the flip side is Billy Long (R-MO), also from the House of Representatives, who averages 0.19 retweets per every tweet he sends. Last month, Long sent out 643 tweets, but those only managed to earned him 126 total retweets.
So what is the difference? Are West’s followers just more dedicated?
Yes and no. Twitter can’t prove whether anyone’s constituents are more loyal, but it can show who is using the social media platform more effectively for political purposes. This understanding of Twitter may result in stronger campaigns because the politician’s message is disseminated more clearly and consistently.
A big factor in attracting engagement, as measured by retweets here, is the size of one’s following. West sports over 43,000 followers compared to Long’s 2,185. In this case, size does matter, as more followers makes it more likely someone will retweet the message to their following, creating the viral flow of information.
One detractor from attracting retweets, however, is tweeting too much, whether they are original posts or a plethora of Retweets from favored politicians or celebrities. Too many posts in a day crowd up the feed, numb followers to yet another Tweet (if it’s 12 in the past hour), and fog up the overall message.
West saves keeps his Twitter feed well manicured, limiting messaging to promote political causes or his own writing for followers to share. Only one or two posts a day means that when he does tweet, followers pay attention to check out the new information he shares. It seems that on Twitter as often it is in life; less is more.
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