This study analyzes the use of social media by state legislative bodies, broken down by a combination of legislative body (House, Senate, or general legislature) and by party (Republican or Democrat). I analyzed Twitter and Facebook posts for each of these groups during the week of January 11-15, 2016, specifically looking for four improvements: transparency, policy making, public services, and knowledge management and cross-agency cooperation. The research questions are: RQ1: Which social media platforms are state legislatures using? RQ2: What improvements are the state legislatures using in their social media output? RQ3: Is there a significant difference in the improvements presented on Facebook and Twitter? The results revealed that 52.9% of 700 groups had created Twitter and Facebook accounts, with 55% of those accounts on Twitter. The analysis also showed that upcoming events are more common than expected on Twitter, and that posts asking for support on an issue are more common than expected on Facebook. This study is important because it relates to voting trends of the 18-24 age group in the United States. An overwhelming majority of this age group uses social media, but this group has very low voting rates. If governmental bodies can utilize social media to communicate with this population, then it is possible that they would be better informed and more motivated to vote and be civically engaged.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Communications



Date Submitted


Document Type





e-government, social media, political communication

Included in

Communication Commons