U.S. politicians on social mediaRepresentatives of the U.S. Congress and Senate have been utilizing social media to connect with the American public, and Twitter is frequently the platform of choice. In 2021 there were over 477 thousand posts by members of the U.S. Congress on Twitter. In comparison, there were 295 thousand Facebook posts published by members of Congress in 2021.
Republican politicians posted more regularly on social media than Democrats in 2021. Republican and United States senator for Texas Ted Cruz was the most active member of the U.S. senate on Twitter, tweeting 4,351 times throughout the year. Additionally, Republican Billy Hagerty ranked second, with 3,154 tweets.
Republicans tweeted more often than Democrats, while Democrats used hashtags far more frequently. The most used hashtag by Republicans was #bidenbordercrisis, which was used a total of 2,779 times. The leading hashtag used by Democrat members of U.S. congress was #buildbackbetter which was used 9,513 times. Other popular hashtags used by Democrats were #americanrescueplan and #covid19.
Former President Barack Obama's Twitter account is the most followed profile on the platform, with over 131 million followers, demonstrating how entwined social media and politics are.
How much is spent on political digital advertising?Digital advertising is an important component of political campaigns. Between January and August 2022, 697 million U.S. dollars was spent on political advertising in the United States, meaning that more money was spent on digital platforms than on cable, radio, and satellite.
Regardless of the importance of digital ads, over two billion U.S. dollars were spent on broadcasting. Additionally, 388 million USD was invested in Google and Facebook campaigns.
As of August 2022, the Biden for President campaign was the largest advertiser on Google in the U.S., with over 83.5 million U.S. dollars spent on advertising. Donald J. Trump for president followed closely, with 83.4 million U.S. dollars in spending.
Voters in the U.S. have mixed opinions of political advertising. Overall, three-quarters of voters in the U.S. agreed that certain controls should be placed on social media platforms for political advertisers, and over half found political advertising, in general, to be unethical.