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Congress & Social Media 102

Using Facebook to contact legislators
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The Internet is now the primary source for learning about legislation and contacting members of Congress. 

Knowing that constituents want to feel more engaged, Facebook has become a popular communication tool for politicians. It allows them to convey messages quickly and directly to the constituents who follow them. 

Conversely, you can use Facebook to communicate directly to your legislators. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of congressional offices believe the social media site is an important tool for understanding constituents’ opinions, according to a 2011 study by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF).

“It’s great for me to go on Facebook right now, go to my page and see what people are saying,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA) told CMF. “We’ll post something and get feedback immediately from the people that I represent.”

One way to find your legislators’ official Facebook page, if they have one, is through their website. Members of Congress will generally link to all of their social media accounts on their site. You can use these congressional websites to find directories of each state’s representatives: www.senate.gov or www.house.gov/representatives.

After you’ve found your member of Congress and “liked” their Facebook page, you can write public messages on their “wall.” You can use this feature to ask legislators to support bills important to waterfowl, such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act or the federal duck stamp. 

Your message may prompt others to post their support or comment on your message, starting a conversation or debate. It’s important to know that even if you don’t get a direct response from the legislator, all of these messages are being monitored by their staff.

Once your legislator votes to help pass a bill you support, don’t forget to say thank you! 

This is the second article in a series on using social media to contact your members of Congress.

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