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Top 5 Politicians on Instagram of 2012

by Jane Susskind, published

Looking back on the year 2012, the growth and popularity of the mobile app Instagram gives new meaning to the adage "a picture's worth a thousand words."

Crossing the 100 million user mark in September, the photo-sharing app has also caught on in Washington. Representatives from across the country flocked to the mobile app to share photos of behind-the-scenes footage of political life in the nation's capital.

“There are a lot of people interested in photos and photography and this is a great way to share that,” a digital aide to Rep. Kevin McCarthy said. “Like a lot of other social mediums that members are using today, [Instagram is] about connecting with the American people. It’s about creating open dialogue with them.”

On Election Day, that connection generated over 680,000 photos with the trending hashtag #vote. While politicians across the nation incorporated Instagram into their social media election strategies, the people continue to engage their audience year-round, making them the top 5 politicians on Instagram:

1. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip

Vocal on a wide array of social media channels, U.S. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy joined Instagram about a month ago.

Since then, he has actively used the network to give the 7.3 million daily users on Instagram an inside look into his meetings and the political workings of the capitol. McCarthy utilizes the many filters of Instagram to create visually appealing photos of the sights and sounds of Washington.

While his account is only followed by 65 users, he has been successful in using the network to connect with other politicians, tagging them in posts and comments.

2. President Barack Obama

Politicians on Instagram

While we expected nothing less from the socially savvy Barack Obama, the campaign staff outdid themselves this year, reaching almost 2 million followers on the photo-sharing app.

Posting images depicting his journey to the White House, Barak Obama's Instagram account sparked engagement from users nationwide. His inclusion of seemingly unposed pictures aided in personalizing his account, while images from political rallies and events helped energize supporters.

3. Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Politicians on instagram

Instrumental in her campaign for U.S. Senate, Elizabeth Warren used Instgram throughout her campaign to connect with voters and humanize her campaign.

Posting images of her supporters, the campaign trail, and even her dog, she engaged with her constituents using the social network. While the use of Instagram is relatively new for politicians, Warren's grasp of the social network is evident in the variety of content posted on her account.

4. Rep. Steny Hoyer 

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer was among the first in the U.S. House to join Instagram, singing up back in July.

His most recent Instagram post showcases his participation in the #26Acts of kindness movement honoring the victims of Newtown. His 50+ photos are generally representative of his work in Washington.

 5. House Speaker John Boehner

politicians on instagram

A newcomer to Instagram, House Speaker John Boehner joined the social network about a month ago. While his staff has only posted 9 photos to date, his photos shed light into the daily happenings of the political arena in Washington.

Boehner doesn't just stick to policy, and recently posted an image of the Capitol Christmas Tree arriving at the U.S. Capitol.

Also check out "5 Ways Politicians Are Using Instagram" for more background on the social network and its relevance to politics.

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