House Dems Fight for Followers on Social Media

House Democrats vie for social media followers in the fourth annual Online All-Star Competition.

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Teens aren't the only slaves to social media; politicians are determined to tweet, like and post their way into their constituents' hearts. Mix that with a little friendly competition and you've got the House Democrats' Online All-Star Competition.

Monday marked the beginning of the fourth annual Online All-Star Competition, a popularity contest of sorts to encourage the Democratic Caucus to strengthen online engagement with constituents.

House Democrats fight for followers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube during a three week period in July. The winner is chosen based on total new Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and YouTube subscribers acquired during the contest.

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The top 50 members will be named Online All-Stars, while the Democrat in the number one spot will be crowned MVP. Caucuses and committees get to compete too; the top three committees and the top two caucuses are also named Online All-Stars. This year's competition will recognize the top freshman office as well.

Winners enjoy bragging rights and a virtual badge for their website.

So how does one become the winning social media butterfly? Quality content. House members gain more followers, fans and subscribers when they post frequent, compelling and engaging content. Adventuring in online question and answer forums like on Reddit's Ask Me Anything also bring significant traffic to a representative's profiles.

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Currently, Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth is in the lead with 988 Facebook fans, 105 Twitter followers and 12 new YouTube subscribers. Following her is Minority Leader and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The contest started as a way for politicians to better connect with their constituents through social media. Last year, House members wrangled up more than 139,000 new followers. Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland hopes to increase that in 2013.

"I am confident that this year's competition will help Democrats reach more Americans than ever and continue to demonstrate the importance of digital media in connecting with constituents and communicating our plans for creating jobs and growing opportunities for middle-class families and those striving to enter the middle-class," Hoyer said in a release.

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