Want to be heard by Congress? Try leaving a comment

Want to be heard by Congress? Try leaving a comment
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It only takes a small number of comments on social media to catch the attention of Capitol Hill, according to a survey of congressional staffers released on Wednesday.

The survey, conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation, found that staffers would pay attention if they received 30 or fewer similar comments on something posted by their office.

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Forty-five percent of staffers said that they would pay attention if they received between 10 and 30 similar social media comments on an individual post, and 35 percent said they would pay attention if they noticed fewer than 10 comments.

Twenty-one percent said that they would pay attention if they saw more than 30 comments.

The staffers surveyed suggested they were most likely to see reaction to their social media posts if it appeared soon after the original message. Fifty-four percent said that they reviewed reactions to their office’s social media accounts for up to six hours after they posted. Only 40 percent said that they reviewed them after 24 hours.

The findings suggest that interest groups that mobilize hundreds of supporters to call and send letters to Congressional offices could also effectively use social media, potentially with a fraction of the supporters.

The survey, conducted last year, had a sample size of 116 congressional staffers from both chambers and both parties.

Staff polled for the survey said they believed social media had benefited the relationship between constituents and lawmakers. Seventy-six percent agreed or strongly agreed with the idea that social media “enabled us to have more meaningful interactions with constituents” while 70 percent agreed or strongly agreed that it “made Members/Senators more accountable to constituents.”

Congress has sometimes been slow to adopt new technology. Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhite House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts GOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death MORE (R-S.C.), a presidential candidate, made news earlier this year when he said that he had never sent an email.