Jo Swinson MP has been given special mention by the Hansard Society for her dynamic use of social media and e-communication.
The Hansard Society’s eDemocracy Programme monitored MPs’ use of Facebook as a tool for personal use, campaigning, and communication. Focusing particularly on MPs who maximise use of the social networking site rather than those who only accept “friend requests”, the Society pin-pointed Jo as an effective user of social media.
The report noted that 51% of the Liberal Democrats have a presence on Facebook, compared to only 9% of Tory MPs and 15% of Labour MPs. While 69% of Liberal Democrat MPs with active accounts are likely to use the website for communication, just 41% of Conservatives and 37% of Labour do the same. The recommendation put forward by the Society was to use social media as a two-way communication tool, not to be used only to publish but also to listen and respond to.
By connecting her Twitter page to her Facebook wall, Jo allows more than 2500 people to keep track of what she’s doing both in East Dunbartonshire and in Westminster.
Commenting, Jo Swinson said:
“Facebook and Twitter can certainly help politicians connect with the public, as we saw so clearly in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign last year. It is important for politicians to use social media as a two-way communications tool, rather than just to broadcast messages. An online presence is of course no substitute for getting out and about speaking to people in person, which is why I also enjoy knocking on doors to hear people’s views. However it is an additional way to be accessible to people, and I’m sure the role of social media in politics will continue to evolve.”