SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been a member of Congress for only 15 days, but she already has some of the most veteran House Democrats chasing her heels and taking notes.
“She’s really good at Twitter and she’s gonna teach me,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., emerging from a jam-packed Twitter training session Thursday morning hosted by Ocasio-Cortez.
“Between [former Rep.] John Dingell and AOC, I’m going to get good at Twitter,” she said.
“AOC,” as the freshmen Democratic phenom from New York is known, has 2.44 million followers on Twitter. Rep. Dingell has nearly 37,000; her husband, John, has more than 251,000.
Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman in Congress, has electrified progressives with her social media engagement, unabashed about picking a fight, pushing back at critics and giving followers an inside look at her personal life.
“The top tip, I think, is really to be yourself and to really write your own tweets so that people know it’s you talking,” Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News after emerging from class.
ABC News was the only news organization to visit the Ocasio-Cortez Twitter boot camp in the bowels of the U.S. Capitol. Here is a selection of the advice AOC gave to her peers:
“Social media is not just for young people.” “If you don’t know what a meme is don’t post a meme.” “If you’re an older woman, talk like an older woman talks.” “Don’t try to be anybody who you’re not.” “Jonathan Dingell is amazing on Twitter, absolutely amazing.” “Social media is not a press release. It’s not a press conference.” “It’s not the kitchen that’s popular, or the cooking that’s popular, it’s that I’m engaging people doing something I’m already doing.” The most effective behavior is “behavior that is not like your normal member of Congress.” “Sometimes the culture here is to fit in and keep your heads low,” she said. But “we don’t want to separate ourselves” from constituents on social media. “Mute people but try not to block them.” “The way we grow our presence is being there.”
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