Essentials Government & Politics: The impact of tweeting with photos, videos, hashtags and links

Each Tweet represents an opportunity to show your voice and strengthen the relationship with your constituency. To help give insight into what resonates most with followers in specific verticals, we analyzed the content of millions of Tweets sent by verified users in the U.S., looking at the numbers of Retweets that included specific hard features mentioned below.

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  • Photos
  • #hashtags
  • Links
  • Videos
  • Tweets containing a number

These are the results for government and politics.

Photos were more effective for verified users in government and politics than in any other area, with a significant bump in Retweets — 62% higher than they would expect to receive normally. Let’s say @politician normally gets an average of 100 Retweets per post. A photo would see them getting an average of 162 per Tweet.

The popularity of photos (as well as the engagement bump from videos) suggests that authenticity and access are paramount for your followers. As a government official, it’s important to build an authentic, transparent relationship with your constituency; a photo often suggests a candid insight into your life or work.

Hashtags are not to be sniffed at though, with 30% more Retweets. Digits and quotes also see an increase over average engagement rates. These findings suggest that substance triumphs over rhetoric for Twitter followers: hashtags often are used to rally around a specific agenda (such as #passMJIA or #EaseTheSqueeze), while digits and quotes reflect concrete research or statements.

I work in politics. What does that mean for me?

When you’re trying to foster the relationship with your constituents, you should keep in mind the types of Tweets that most resonate with them. Just as speech-writing requires a balance of great soundbites and a strong overall message, you should approach Twitter holistically but with strategy around specific Tweets. For example:

You can use images and photos to tell a story, or to trail a major event — as the White House (@WhiteHouse) did here before the president’s major speech. Pictures can help demystify the world of government and foster closer engagement with your constituents.


Notice how the tweet also used a hashtag too, to make sure its Tweet would become part of the debate on the issue of the moment.


As did the President’s political opponents:

Data and statistics can drive political discussion on Twitter and the fact that Tweets with digits or numbers in them also get 16% more Retweets shows how the raw facts can be very powerful when presented on Twitter. The data can provide the substance behind the argument, showing that your opinions are informed and based in facts. And as this Vine from the @USCensusBureau shows, those numbers can be combined with video — which gets 14% more Retweets than the average (that includes all types of video).

Get the results for: TV | Sports | News | Music

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