Social media enable individuals to share knowledge, experiences, opinions, and ideas among each other. With regard to political sector, social media can be an enabler for participation and democracy among citizens. As the 2008 U.S. presidential election campaigns have shown, social media platforms such as social network sites (SNSs), microblogging services or weblogs can also be successfully used by political actors to disseminate information to voters as well as to contact and discuss with them. In this study, we seek to gain insight into the political communication based on social media in Germany by conducting an analysis of social media presence of German political parties on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube as well as a survey of members of the German parliament regarding their social media use. Based on the results, we present an overview of the relevance and potentials of as well as obstacles to the usage of social media for political communication from the perspective of political institutions. Further, we derive implications regarding the need for social media monitoring in political context as well as research implications in information systems.