X Still Marks the Spot for Policymakers

After Elon Musk took over X, formerly Twitter, in October 2022, a wave of users and advertisers left the platform. This led to a significant migration of users from X to LinkedIn. As social media is a common battleground for advocacy campaigns, it’s imperative to determine if policymakers on Capitol Hill still use X to engage on important policy issues. Our analysis shows that the answer is a resounding yes.

In the past 12 months, over 500 policymakers sent out 268,000 tweets, collectively averaging more than 730 posts daily. These tweets are often focused on current events and issues of the day, updates on legislative activities, or information on events or town halls in their districts. These tweets generate tremendous engagement.

Our analysis found that Members of Congress’ 268,000 tweets led to over 262 million engagements. The most engaged tweet was from Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, which received 240,000 engagements. It included a video of her speech that received 13.9 million views.

Congressmembers also actively engage with other users on the platform. During the past 12 months, legislators had over 125,000 reposts and quote posts. They also posted around 41,000 replies to other users. These replies include answering questions from constituents, gauging public opinion on various issues, and engaging in policy discussions with other legislators and influencers.

It is believed that X will continue playing a key role in shaping political discourse as long as it remains the platform of choice for reporters. However, continued changes to the platform, such as the automatic stripping of news headlines from news stories and changes to algorithms with links to news articles, may be contributing to reporters migrating to other platforms. As reported in Axios, Muck Rack’s latest State of PR report, which conducts a survey of PR professionals found that 27% of PR professionals reported using X less often today. According to Muck Rack’s report, X was previously the second most used platform for pitching reporters behind email, but now only 10% of PR professionals use X for outreach.

While the landscape continues to evolve, as of today, X remains a viable tool for Members of Congress to connect with constituents, promote their legislative agendas, and shape public policy. Despite changes to the platform, the ease of direct interaction between legislators and the public has likely supported its continued relevance in shaping the legislative landscape. As such, for individuals, businesses, and organizations focused on engaging with and driving action on policy, maintaining a strategic presence on X remains beneficial.