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Are the #POLITICO28 Social Media Rockstars?

Are the #POLITICO28 Social Media Rockstars?

Every December, POLITICO releases its list of the 28 thinkers, doers, dreamers, and disrupters who are driving change and solving problems in European politics, policy and business – the POLITICO 28.

Hume Brophy has conducted an analysis of the use of Twitter by this year’s cohort* of what Politico calls “the most powerful people in Europe”, revealing some interesting insights.

This year’s crop is a talkative bunch, tweeting 38.1K times this year to date. With a combined reach of 14.8M they’ve theoretically generated 25B impressions. You might think that, being leaders, they’d originate the majority of their own content but we found that just over half their posts (51%) were in fact retweets, with 19.7% (7.52k) being original posts and 17% (6.5k) being replies.

Emmanuel Macron had the greatest number of followers (7M) followed by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (2M) and Anne Hidalgo (2M) with Donald Tusk also having an audience over 1M.

The most prolific tweeter by far was Eliot Higgins (16.3k) – an average of 47 times per day. Anne Hidalgo (6.27k) and Jeremy Farrar (5.78k) round out the top three who together generated nearly 3 in 4 tweets (28.35k vs 38.1k = 74.4%) of the group total.

We took a look at engagement and, given the outsized scale of his following, Macron’s tweets frequently drove massive engagement. Amongst Macron’s top posts was his announcement leading to an address that would include school closures and extend lockdown measures (191k engagements), a post giving thanks to an anime publishing house (138k), and tweets condemning the insurrection in the US Capital (107k) and congratulating the Biden/Harris team on their inauguration. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s post promising “forget business as usual” after being installed as the First Woman and First African to lead the WTO generated engagement of 175k. Rounding out the highest engagement posts from the 28 were a pair of simple May Day slogans from Isabel Diaz Ayuso, each driving well over 12k engagements.

The sentiment of tweets was largely neutral, perhaps a signal that most this group set aside their opinions and campaigning style posts as Europe grappled with Covid.


Indeed, Covid was a key topic…

#Covid19 tops the list of hashtags with related recovery programmes with the EU’s  #nextgenerationeu and the UK’s #planforjobs making the list. Environment was also important with #cop26 and the #eugreendeal hashtags finding frequent use. #Syria and #Russia also make an appearance as both countries remain the source of much focus and concern in Europe.  

Even as adoption of Twitter stalls or reverses in many markets and across most demographics, here in the bubble it’s clear that Twitter still plays a key role in helping Europe’s most powerful reach and engage their stakeholders.


*Note six members of the POLITICO 28 Class of 2022 have no personal Twitter account and were therefore omitted: Mario Draghi, Laura Codruța Kövesi, Koen Lenaerts, Viktor Orbán, Aleksander Čeferin, and Alexander Lukashenko.



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