Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. Taking quick snapshots or 15 second videos and applying funky filters of different colors and hues and sharing them with your friends isn’t just for hipsters any more. More and more politicians are joining Instagram to reach out to voters in a more personal way through photos and videos.
With its acquirement by Facebook and the addition of short video capabilities to the platform, Instagram is a powerful tool for helping politicians reach the ever growing mobile audience. Instagram’s new 15 second video feature is ideal for mobile video watching and integrates seamlessly with other social networks for instant sharing.
At the start of 2014, who are the most savvy politicians on Instagram? Through an analysis of Instagram followers and individual photo likes, Arc 3 has compiled a list of the top ten politicians on Instagram:
1. President Barack Obama @barackobama 2.73 million followers
The top ten most liked political photos on Instagram are shared by the President’s account. These photos range from a “Thank you” photo on Election Night with 294k likes to birthday wishes for the President with 86k likes. Upon the President joining Instagram, the social media platform announced that “We look forward to seeing how President Obama uses Instagram to give folks a visual sense of what happens in the everyday life of the President of the United States.” So far the President’s team has done that and more.
2. Mitt Romney @mittromney 71k followers
The former Governor of Massachusetts and Republican nominee for President has the second largest following of a politician on Instagram. The account largely contains photos from campaign stops during the 2012 Presidential election with his last post being November 6, 2012. The most popular photo on his account was a get out the vote photo on election day that received over 17k likes.
3. George W. Bush @georgewbush 64k followers
The 43rd President has taken to painting and his artistic talents show in his Instagram account. Posting touching photos of family and new grandchildren, he also adds in beautiful landscapes of his native Texas. The former Texas Rangers owner’s love of sports is also on full display with photos of trips to professional football and baseball games.
4. Senator Cory Booker @corybooker 33k followers
The former Mayor of Newark and newest member of the U.S. Senate is also one of the most adept at using social media for civic engagement, responding to constituent requests and comments personally. Senator Booker’s Insta feed contains a wide variety of content, including savvy use of short video and uploading of press clips.
5. Congressman Kevin McCarthy @repkevinmccarthy 11k followers
The House Majority Whip, McCarthy was recognized by BuzzFeed as the best Republican Congressman on Instagram. McCarthy’s Insta feed is full of photos of D.C.’s who’s who, his family dog and “Throwback Thursday” photos of his family. McCarthy’s video of playing Frisbee with the family dog received over 2k likes.
6. Governor Chris Christie @govchristie 5k followers
The potential 2016 candidate for President and Republican Governor of New Jersey has a balanced mix of celebrity photos, family “Throwback Thursday” photos and behind the scenes photos in his role as Governor. Governor Christie’s photo shares reflect his team’s understanding of emotion and imagery to garner support on social media.
7. Michael Bloomberg @mikebloomberg 4k followers
Having completed his term as Mayor of the Big Apple, Bloomberg has set up a philanthropic foundation to advance his favorite causes. His Insta feed is loaded with photos of groundbreakings, ceremonies and events in the performance of his duties as Mayor. Since leaving the Mayoral office, he has posted a stream of photos related to his campaign for immigration reform, Iamimmigration.org.
8. Gabby Giffords @gabbygiffords 4k followers
The former Congresswoman from Southern Arizona retired from Congress after her courageous return from a 2011 shooting that nearly claimed her life. Founder of the PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Gifford’s Instagram account is full of photos of her advocacy work.
9. Speaker John Boehner @speakerboehner 3k followers
The Speaker is the king of ‘Throwback Thursday”, posting photos ranging from his high school football days under legendary Coach Gerry Faust to school field trips to family photos with his brothers and Santa Claus. The photos personalize one of the most powerful men in the country, who is 2nd in the line of succession to the Presidency. His Insta feed also includes hundreds of behind the scenes photos of his official duties as Speaker.
10. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard @tulsigabbard 2k followers
The 32 year old Army veteran, surfer and representative from Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional district is one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party. Her Insta feed is chalked full of beautiful Hawaiian landscapes as well as behind the scenes photos of her duties as a Congresswoman for the Aloha state. A fitness enthusiast, the Congresswoman’s account has photos of her many physical activities such as running, hiking, sking, and yoga.
At the start of 2014, these are the top ten politicians on Instagram. As social media continues to become more and more visual, we expect more politicians to adopt Instagram as a necessary part of their social media efforts. Who are your favorite politicians on Instagram? Let us know!