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Is Congress the ultimate ad agency with Twitter?

July 27, 2009 |  2:37 pm

Barack-obama-blackberry

It's no secret that Congresspeople are falling in love with Twitter.

Their infatuation with the website is not unlike advertisers, who are much more likely than consumers to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, according to a new LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll.

So, are Twittering politicians, such as President Obama and Sen. John McCain, the ultimate advertisers?

Almost half of the 1,015 advertisers polled said that Twitter use will grow exponentially over the next few years, compared with just 12% of consumers who felt the same. One-fifth of....

...advertisers and 12% of consumers say Twitter is just something for young people, which contradicts a much-publicized report by a Morgan Stanley intern arguing the opposite.

If McCain and his 150 fellow Congressional Twitterers, according to Tweet Congress, are any indication of the website's audience, it's not a young person's game.

But maybe Capitol Hill's elder texters are simply ahead of the curve. Maybe they're a part of the elite advertiser group highlighted in the study.

President Obama is often lauded for his successful leveraging of social media, which included active campaign Twitter and Facebook profiles, leading up to the election to rally voters and keep them engaged.

McCain, a formally self-professed computer illiterate, got on the bandwagon late, but better late than never, right? (Also, as the Ticket reported here last fall, though he doesn't like to talk about it, McCain's six years of POW torture in Vietnam restrict his arm movements and digital dexterity.)

Obama's electoral Twittering could have inspired McCain's eventual adoption of the short-messaging platform.

McCain finally has a chance to take the popularity lead over Obama's Twitter account now that the White House, which Twitters, has blocked staff access to the social networking website. Although that policy is now under review.

The White House may be flip-flopping on Twitter recently, but advertisers unwaveringly value the service because it's a free and accessible way to broadcast their messages to large amounts of people.

Politicians value Twitter because, well, for the very same reason.

-- Mark Milian

Speaking of Twitter, get Twitter alerts on each new Ticket item by registering here. Or follow us    @latimestot

Photo: Obama talks about the economy on a conference call on July 7, 2008. Credit: Associated Press

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