Florida’s Elected Officials’ Score Low Grades in Twitter Sociability

Florida’s Elected Officials’ Score Low Grades in Twitter Sociability, Forgetting the ‘Social’ in Social Media.

Landmark Twitter study released: Politicians talk too much, listen too little

Ozean Media releases the landmark study of Twitter usage of Florida’s elected officials including Federal, Statewide, & State Legislature officials.  OMG! Don’t Forget: It’s Social Media:  A Report Card of Florida’s Elected Officials Use of Twitter is the most comprehensive review of Twitter usage by Florida’s politicians to date.

“Overall, Republicans earn a C and Democrats an F in twitter usage; however, when we grade on a curve Florida’s Republican officials perform better than the Democratic officials.  The good news is there is room for dramatic improvement,” said Alex Patton (@alex_patton), the study’s author.


The study researched over a two week period set out to answer the following questions:

  • Are Florida’s elected officials using Twitter?
  • Is there a digital divide that separates Republican and Democrat elected officials in Florida?
  • How are Florida’s elected officials using Twitter?
  • Which of Florida’s elected officials could be considered to be embracing Twitter?
  • Are there recommendations to be made to Florida’s elected officials in their use of Twitter?

The study represents the most comprehensive look at twitter usage of Florida’s elected officials, aggregating data from multiple sources and comparing the data to twitter superstars such as the University of Florida, President Obama, and Justin Bieber.

Findings of Study:

  • As a whole, Florida’s elected officials are using Twitter in greater percentages than the general public.
  • Florida’s elected Republican officials are using social media more than Florida’s elected Democrat officials –  57% of Republican elected officials are active users (defined as at least 1 status update in past 7 days) to 34% of Democrat elected officials.
  • Republican elected officials are doing significantly better than Democrat elected officials using twitter.
    • If not for Florida’s Democratic Congressional Delegation — more specifically @DWStweets who alone accounts for 85% of the number of followers for Democrat elected officials — Florida’s Democrat elected officials would have little social media reach.
  • Florida’s elected officials score well on influence, on authority; however,
  • Florida’s elected officials score very low on outreach.
  • A handful of Florida’s elected officials are embracing Twitter.  They are:


category Twitter name name district party
USREP @RepDennisRoss Dennis Ross


USREP @DWStweets D Wasserman Schultz


USREP @treyradel Trey Radel


STSEN @Rob_Bradley Rob Bradley


STSEN @DwightBullard Dwight Bullard


STREP @sethmckeel Seth McKeel


STREP @repclayingram Clay Ingram


STREP @JimmyPatronis Jimmy Patronis


STREP @mattgaetz Matt Gaetz


STREP @jasonbrodeur Jason Brodeur




“Bottom line, when you look at how Florida’s politicians are actually using Twitter, they are forgetting the ‘social’ in social media.  The vast majority of Florida’s elected officials appear to be misunderstanding or misusing Twitter by using it as primarily as a broadcast media channel,” continues Mr. Patton.

“For Florida’s elected officials to truly realize the power of Twitter and social media, they must embrace the social part by talking with people, not only talking to people,” concludes Alex Patton.

The study, an executive summary, the study’s methodology, and complete data-set are available for download below.

All are invited to comment on the report using the Twitter hashtag #socialgrade.


Press Release

Download Press Release  (filetype: pdf)


Download Complete Study (filetype:pdf)


Download dataset (Excel Sheet – .xlsx)

Download dataset (Excel Sheet – .xls)

Download dataset (Tab Delimited Txt – .txt)

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About Alex Patton