An awesome day the Social Media Trends Summit

It was a fantastic day at the EUROVISION Social Media Trends Summit in London. I really had great fun but, most importantly, I had the chance to meet some incredible communication professionals and at the same time promote what the European Union will do at Expo Milan 2015. I’ll write about my presentation in a separate post. Not because people are just waiting impatiently to read it (I’m not that disillusioned) but because the topic I discussed deserves a separate chapter. Besides, just the selfie you see below deserves another dedicated post 🙂

The summit had the target of exploring strategies and exchange knowledge and best practice in the field of social media for public service media with the wider European Broadcasting Union network. It was an aspect of social media I hadn’t been involved in before. Hence, listening from the experience of TV and radio producers was really interesting and I hope I’ll get a chance sometimes to work in the same realm.

Social media is now an integral part of public service broadcasting. Maximizing the use of social platforms has become key to making the case for public service media as it allows us to understand our audiences better and to be more relevant to them; to increase engagement and interactivity; to empower, curate and share stories and messages; and to become the most relevant source of information for our audiences.

Bringing reporters, producers and presenters together was the ideal set to understand how radio, TV and paper need to reshape their content and their way of working by integrating social media in their overall communication plans. In particular, in the past few years, I have been witnessing the tendency, from social media professionals, to over-discern themselves, from communication managers.

Social_Media_Trends_Summit As I said in my presentation:

Conversations about social media are diverging from conversations about general communication. It’s now time to make these two converge not diverge. You notice this in the way some businesses and organizations are set out. You find the community manager in an office separated from the PR team, who hardly speak to the press officer, who doesn’t have a clue about what the webmaster is doing. Community managers in 2015 need to be at the centre of communication, not at the corner

A significant part of the conference discussed how social media is reshaping journalism. A topic that Alex Volonté took a closer look at in his blog.

The conference saw the participation of many speakers, mainly from the Scandi-Anglo-Saxon world. It seems to me that Scandinavia is a great and comfortable place to promote innovation in communication and public engagement. There’s no corruption, everybody is young, everybody loves technology and people are not afraid to speak up. It’s a pretty different working environment from their south-European counterparts where political communication hides numerous hurdles towards transparency and accessibility. Apart from reminiscing the ideal world that Scandinavia creates in my mind, I particularly enjoyed four presentations:

Cilla Benkö, Director-General, Swedish Radio, was one of the most appreciated speakers at the event, as you can see from the tweets about her. A strong, decisive and pragmatic woman that seems not to compromise to mediocrity. To cut a long story short:

Social media is not only for the young generation. We must adapt to it and use it our best

When you can tell people that you work for the X Factor and MTV, you already start with a step ahead in terms of coolness. That’s what Laura-May Coope can say. Pragmatically, Laura explained how social media isn’t just marketing, posting, replying, favouriting etc… It’s a bilateral process where you both speak and listen. Otherwise, we would just call it broadcasting. It’s two-way communication. When she’s asked how she gets her stories, she basically says that she’s “always listening to social media.” Is there any other better and richer source for content? I don’t think so

The best story of the day was not about engagement or live-tweeting strategies. It was about how the digital presence of the Eurovision Song Contest came about. Believe it or not, it was (obviously) all because of a girl. Sietse Bakker, Eurovision Song Contest Event Supervisor, a loooooooooong time ago, wanted to impress this girl he liked. How, you ask? By making a website about the Eurovision. Long story short, he gets a job offer for that. Sure, there is more to that but this happened.

This is an awesome success story and it really embraces a set of recommendations I always give to neo-graduates: “Jobs ain’t waiting for you. In this market you have to stand out of the crowd and go get those jobs by the horns.” Sietse (kind of) did that. If you have an awesome idea, smart businesses will see it. Sietse is a terrific guy (see the tweets below as a proof) and the people at EVN Social loved his approach. Plus, he manages probably the coolest cross-country TV event in Europe. I mean, how can you not like the chap?

The reason why I need to talk about Alex Trickett, Head of sports at Twitter, is because Twitter Sports created some of the coolest social media analitycs-based charts I have seen during the 2014 Football World Cup in Brazil.

Getting to the point of their strategy during big sports events, Alex share his five commandments

More videos from the event will come soon. I’ll keep you posted for any update.

Peace out.

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Twiplomacy is the Bible of social media professionals in international organizations


The Twiplomacy report is par excellence the guide book to the use of institutional tweeting or, as they better put it, it is an annual global study looking at the use of Twitter by heads of state and government and ministers of foreign affairs.

While some heads of state and government continue to amass large followings, foreign ministers have established a virtual diplomatic network by following each other on the social media platform. Here is the executive summary from this great work put up by Matthias Lüfkens and Marek Zaremba-Pike together at Burston Marsteller. I had the pleasure to meet Matthias and Marek at their presentation of the report at BM’s offices in Brussels last July (See video below and my short intervention at 40:57)

For many diplomats Twitter has become a powerful channel for digital diplomacy and 21st century statecraft and not all Twitter exchanges are diplomatic, real world differences are spilling over reflected on Twitter and sometimes end up in hashtag wars.

“I am a firm believer in the power of technology and social media to communicate with people across the world,” India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote in his inaugural message on his new website. Within weeks of his election in May 2014, the @NarendraModi account has moved into the top four most followed Twitter accounts of world leaders with close to five million followers.

More than half of the world’s foreign ministers and their institutions are active on the social networking site. Twitter has become an indispensable diplomatic networking and communication tool. As Finnish Prime Minister @AlexStubb wrote in a tweet in March 2014: “Most people who criticize Twitter are often not on it. I love this place. Best source of info. Great way to stay tuned and communicate.”

As of 25 June 2014, the vast majority (83 percent) of the 193 UN member countries have a presence on Twitter. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of all heads of state and heads of government have personal accounts on the social network.

Most Followed World Leaders

Since his election in late May 2014, India’s new Prime Minister @NarendraModi has skyrocketed into fourth place, surpassing the the @WhiteHouse on 25 June 2014 and dropping Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül (@cbabdullahgul) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RT_Erdogan) into sixth and seventh place with more than 4 million followers each.

Modi still has a ways to go to best U.S. President @BarackObama, who tops the world-leader list with a colossal 43.7 million followers, with Pope Francis @Pontifex) with 14 million followers on his nine different language accounts and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono @SBYudhoyono, who has more than five million followers and surpassed President Obama’s official administration account @WhiteHouse on 13 February 2014.

In Latin America Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the President of Argentina @CFKArgentina is slightly ahead of Colombia’s President @JuanManSantos with 2,894,864 and 2,885,752 followers respectively. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto @EPN, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff @dilmabr and Venezuela’s @NicolasMaduro complete the Latin American top five, with more than two million followers each.

Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta @UKenyatta is Africa’s most followed president with 457,307 followers, ahead of Rwanda’s @PaulKagame (407,515

followers) and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma (@SAPresident) (325,876 followers).

Turkey’s @Ahmet_Davutoglu is the most followed foreign minister with 1,511,772 followers, ahead of India’s @SushmaSwaraj (1,274,704 followers) and the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates @ABZayed (1,201,364 followers) Continue reading “Twiplomacy is the Bible of social media professionals in international organizations”

Screening Twitter privacy policy


Twitter is now officially sending out emails covering its new privacy policy and terms of service, mainly updating its policy to buy merchandise. The email states Twitter has updated its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to reflect new features they are testing (starting in the U.S.) to allow users to buy merchandise from some of the most popular names on Twitter, without leaving the Twitter experience. Its Terms of Service update now introduces the terms covering use of its commerce offerings. The new terms also describe Twitter users relationship with merchandise sellers, including their responsibility for order fulfilment, shipping and returns.

The email continues to read: And since you’ll need to provide certain information to make a purchase, such as a credit card number and shipping address, the Privacy Policy update includes new sections on that information. You’ll also see provisions relating to commerce services that we’ll be testing in the future, like special offers you can redeem at select stores using your credit card. Twitter is also updating the Privacy Policy to clarify how other parts of our services work, including: That we may request additional account information to help us prevent spam, fraud or abuse. As well as the broad audiences that receive public user profile information and public Tweets, including search engines, developers and publishers. The types of non-private or non-personal information that is shared with others, including reports to advertisers about the performance of their advertising campaigns.

How Twitter collects certain types of information, including location information (such as through IP address or nearby access points), and information when you install another application through Twitter. Twitter may share data with our corporate affiliates consistent with our respective privacy policies, for example, if you use your Twitter credentials to login to Vine, its short looping video service, or to provide better ads through MoPub, Twitter mobile-focused advertising exchange. (Source Online Social Media Net)

What I can see from their Private Policy is that Twitter basically retains the right to use any information on users’ behaviour even from third parties tools (exactly like Google and Facebook). I suppose this is something we already knew. However it is interesting to have a read through the full policy document. Below I highlighted what Twitter retains (in orange), how they use that information (in blue), how they retrieve it (in green).

One difference with Facebook is that their default settings are almost always to make the information a user provides public for as long as they do not delete it from Twitter, but they generally give you settings to make the information more private if you want.

Twitter instantly connects people everywhere to what’s most meaningful to them. Any registered user can send a Tweet, which is a message of 140 characters or less that is public by default and can include other content like photos, videos, and links to other websites.

This Privacy Policy describes how and when Twitter collects, uses and shares your information when you use our Services. Twitter receives your information through our various websites, SMS, APIs, email notifications, applications, buttons, widgets, ads, and commerce services (the “Services” or “Twitter“) and from our partners and other third parties. For example, you send us information when you use Twitter from our website, post or receive Tweets via SMS, or access Twitter from an application such as Twitter for Mac, Twitter for Android or TweetDeck. When using any of our Services you consent to the collection, transfer, manipulation, storage, disclosure and other uses of your information as described in this Privacy Policy. Irrespective of which country you reside in or supply information from, you authorize Twitter to use your information in the United States and any other country where Twitter operates.

If you have any questions or comments about this Privacy Policy, please contact privacy@twitter.com or here.

Information Collection and Use

Basic Account Information: When you create or reconfigure a Twitter account, you provide some personal information, such as your name, username, password, and email address. In some cases, you may be required to provide your phone number, for example, to use Twitter via SMS or to help us prevent spam, fraud, or abuse. Your name and username are listed publicly on our Services, including on your profile page and in search results. Some Services, such as search and public user profiles, do not require registration.

Additional Information: You may provide us with profile information to make public, such as a short biography, your location, your website, or a picture. You may provide information to customize your account, such as a cell phone number for the delivery of SMS messages. We may use your contact information to send you information about our Services or to market to you. You may use your account settings to unsubscribe from notifications from Twitter. You may also unsubscribe by following the instructions contained within the notification or the instructions on our website. We may use your contact information to help others find your Twitter account, including through third-party services and client applications.Your privacy settings control whether others can find you by your email address or cell phone number. You may choose to upload your address book so that we can help you find Twitter users you know or help other Twitter users find you. We may later make suggestions to you and other users on Twitter based on imported address book contacts. You can delete your imported address book contacts from Twitter at any time. If you email us, we may keep your message, email address and contact information to respond to your request. If you connect your Twitter account to your account on another service in order to cross-post between Twitter and that service, the other service may send us your registration or profile information on that service and other information that you authorize. This information enables cross-posting, helps us improve the Services, and is deleted from Twitter within a few weeks of your disconnecting from Twitter your account on the other service. Learn more here. Providing the additional information described in this section is entirely optional. Continue reading “Screening Twitter privacy policy”

A few lessons from #Engagorday


This article was also published on the European Commission’s Digital Team Blog

Engagor Day is an event for all Engagor users and partners which took place in Ghent on May 8th, 2014 at the Eskimofabriek. The goal is to keep them updated on the latest feature additions and everything that is coming up. In other words, the Engagor Roadmap. Moreover, active Engagor users, such as NMBS/SNCB and Thomas Cook UK, presented practical business cases to inspire and inform their fellow users.

Capture

Among the introductory presentations and case studies that were discussed, I particularly enjoyed the contribution from NMBS/SNCB. Jean-Marie Hoffelinck (Advisor Online Communications) and Kim Castro (Community Manager) shared the story about the launch of their public transport company on social in 2013 and how they executed this exciting challenge. NMBS/SNCB is the Belgian national railway operator and autonomous government company formed in 1926. Like all public transport companies, NMBS relies heavily on customer care servicing around 850,000 daily travelers and dealing with a whopping 10,000 tweets per month.

WHAT TRIGGERED NMBS/SNCB TO GO ‘SOCIAL’?

Being one of the first customers of Engagor, NMBS started monitoring back in 2011 to get a better grip on how, when, and where people were talking about the company on social. The volume and type of questions were especially important to get a better sense of the social media landscape. To support their launch in 2013, they realized they had to put a great amount of effort into finding the right team and company ambassadors to fall back on.

Opting for Twitter to establish an extensive social media presence was an obvious choice:

  • NMBS relies heavily on real-time communication. At NMBS, it’s all about context. In public transport, a tweet is often only relevant for 30 minutes.In terms of crisis management, NMBS dedicates all of their efforts to replying in a timely manner and proactively updating travelers with relevant information.
  • NMBS needs to solve travelers’ problems within an instant. For example, when someone tweets, “My train looks rather dirty today,” it’s in their best interest to act on it immediately.
  • NMBS wants to continuously improve customer care and give an accurate explanation as to why things went right/ wrong.

One of the most important starting points was a Belgian crisis which affirmed the importance of real-time communication. In 2011, the @stationschefBMO account was created after disaster struck at the Belgian Pukkelpop festival during a severe thunderstorm. This incident proved Twitter was the perfect medium to inform people when all other means of communication (calling, text messages, etc.) were being cut off.

CaptureMobile, and more importantly, social are great means to provide support in real-time. From that point onwards, they really started noticing the significant success of @stationschefBMO (a personal account belonging to one of their employees). It caught their attention because of the positive impact it had on their image spreading some positive vibes for their company in the social sphere.

Due to snowy weather on March 12th, 2013, train traffic was completely down in Belgium leaving hundreds of people stranded in trains and all the other travelers without any means to get to their destination. The country was plunged into a state of complete chaos, and thousands of tweets flooded the Twitter account of NMBS in just one day.

After the disaster, they realized that “it really takes a challenging crisis before you can solve something” and knew they needed to properly utilize tools to better serve customer complaints, feedback, and sentiment. This was another really important factor that forced them to take action and be prepared for any scenario.

In their presentation, the guys from NMBS presented 5 main recommendations from their experience:

1. Be active where your audience is
Before jumping into social media, determine when your audience wants your brand to be active. This way the community managers of NMBS are available in the right time frame, from 6 am to 10 pm, to provide customer care. During that time period, two people (Dutch & French speaking) are responsible for all the replying.

2. Operate with single points of contact (SPOCS) and detailed procedures
One really important thing NMBS learned is to find and involve internal specialists (or ambassadors) before the launch. What can you learn from them? How will they benefit your social media strategy? The next step is to create internal procedures for following up on a multitude of different questions, complaints, situations, etc. (FAQ’s). Refer your customers to your own existing channels. It’s crucial to direct them to your web pages, applications, etc. with links to cater for short, yet smooth replies.

3. Strive for simplicity in handling mentions
NMBS uses only one SPOC and handles every mention on this account. NMBS really stresses on the fact that you shouldn’t look at how your company and team is organized internally when structuring your social profiles. Creating accounts is striving for simplicity, and if necessary, create only one single account or SPOC.

4. Understand and learn the language of your customers
The monitoring phase of NMBS in 2011 was crucial to help them better understand the type of questions they would encounter, and more in detail, understand/learn the language of their customers. Knowing what the customer expects from you is necessary to translate your own internal, and often complex, jargon into a language customers can easily grasp.

5. Great people make up for great social agents
At NMBS, it’s all about identifying the strengths of the company. No company is perfect and there’s no point in covering up your mistakes. Train your social media team to always reply as a human first. NMBS used a specific training phrase for their social media agents to fall back on: “I’m a person at the NMBS/SNCB and I’m going to help you the best I can”. This motto makes it clear to continuously act as human beings, unafraid to acknowledge that you don’t always have access to the right answers immediately. However, you will do the best you can to ensure smooth replies.

EU Heads of Government on Facebook: who’s scoring best?


After releasing the ranking of EU Heads of government on  Twitter I thought I should not stop there and I should also check their presence on the most populated social media: Facebook.

As I explained in the previous post, the communication strategies of EU Heads of Government vary greatly. Some Prime Ministers are not on social media, some are just on Twitter, some are just on Facebook some are on both platforms.

For instance Bohuslav Sobotka and Jyrki Katainen do not have an official personal presence on either platform, while David Cameron, Matteo Renzi and Mariano Rajoy are on both. Angela Merkel, Werner Faymann and Helle Thorning-Schmidt are  not on Twitter but they do have a Facebook page while the opposite applies to Nicos Anastasiades, Victor Ponta and  Joseph Muscat (see full table below. Data as of 25/03/2014)

European_Heads_of_state_Facebook

As we can see from the table above, out of the 19 Heads of Government on Facebook, 10 are actually verified. Some well-known public figures and Pages with large followings are verified by Facebook as having an authentic identity. You’ll see a blue badge next to a verified profile or Page’s name. Facebook verifies profiles or Pages to help you be sure that they are who they claim to be.

European_Heads_of_state_Facebook

As we can see from the chart above, as for Twitter, Matteo Renzi is the most followed (or “liked”) EU head of government on Facebook with 628.360 likes, followed by Chancellor Merkel (who does not have a personal Twitter account) with 517.415 and Président Hollande with 448.191 likes (Hollande is also the second most followed Twitter account for an EU Head of Government). David Cameron, who has the third most followed Twitter account, is in 6th position in this ranking.

Continue reading “EU Heads of Government on Facebook: who’s scoring best?”

Why digital diplomacy is not a thing (yet)


Some time ago I had the chance to participate in a very good seminar chaired by Jon Worth a well-known communication consultant in Brussels. The seminar revolved around the topic of public diplomacy and the digitalization of international relations.

One of the first things that came up in the event was the “attempt” to define public or digital diplomacy. I say “attempt” because indeed there seems to be quite a lot of confusion about what this practice should be and most importantly how digital diplomacy should be carried out.

A common definition in international relations presents public diplomacy or people’s diplomacy as the communication with foreign publics to establish a dialogue designed to inform and influence. Another definition that came up from the previously mentioned seminar was “it’s what Carl Bildt does. Another expert on the field, Andreas Sandre explains in his latest piece for the Huffington Post how digital diplomacy has been “redefining itself since its inception…It has evolved from 140 characters to a myriad of opportunities embedded in the very nature of the digital era, from crowdsourcing to big data. While we have not yet outgrown Twitter and Facebook — still key ingredients for any government’s digital strategy — foreign policy is fast moving towards more innovative ways to change its elitist undertones and become a truly participatory, collaborative forum.” You should also check out Crowdsourcing tips and ideas for digital diplomacy where Andreas collects tips, definitions and recommendations from digital diplomacy experts.

However, according to this definition we end up defining digital diplomacy merely as the adaptation of diplomacy to new communication technologies which have not really affected diplomacy per se but have simply modified the way people are reached by diplomatic bodies, institutions and representatives.

facebook_diplomacy

What most people call “digital diplomacy” for the large part I would call “public affairs” or even simply broadcasting. This is why digital diplomacy is just not a thing yet. There are perhaps a few Scandinavian diplomats who are using social media and web 2.0 tools to really engage among their diplomatic circles and directly with the citizens, one above all, Mr Alex Stubb. However, these people represent maybe 0.01% of the 77.7% governments of the 193 UN member countries that have a presence on Twitter.

During and after the negotiations of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 I suppose that Klemens Wenzel von Metternich communicated with Viscount Castlereagh and Tsar Alexander I orally and via documents printed on paper possibly sealed with wax stamps. When world leaders started communicating via phone, did political scientists start talking about “telephonic diplomacy?” The question here is rhetoric. David Cameron uses Twitter, so does newly appointed Italian PM Matteo Renzi and so … is this digital diplomacy? Obviously not.

526px-Berlin_.Gendarmenmarkt_.Deutscher_Dom_010

A different role though is played by embassies and other diplomatic bodies who more and more provide useful information to citizens but still are very much constrained by their own lines to take and bureaucracy. Also, they mostly limit themselves to broadcasting ans little engagement. Nonetheless, they are not to be blamed for this. They do provide a valuable service to citizens worldwide.

Seeing the challenge I started asking experts to share their definitions and put them up together in a Twitter custom timeline which I will keep updating as new definitions are shared. You can share your definition using the hashtag #digidipis

Share yours too!

So, what is #digitaldiplomacy for you?

Personal Twitter accounts of European Prime Ministers: who’s scoring best?


Twiplomacy already does an incredible job in assessing the presence of world leaders on Twitter. What I want to show you today is a brief overview of how European Heads of Government perform on Twitter in terms of followers, Klout score and in terms of fake followers. Just to be clear, I refer to “Heads of Government”  and not “Heads of state.”

Followers aren’t everything, as I have already advocated in a recent post discussing the presence of the European Commission on social media. However, this ranking gives you an indication of the popularity of certain world leaders on Twitter in comparison to others.

Out of the 28 heads of states in the members of the European Union, 16 have a personal presence on Twitter. These people have a presence on Twitter independently from their position. David Cameron will always be Mr. David Cameron even  after his mandate as British Prime Minister will be over and the same applies for instance to Francois Hollande. Some governments such as Greece and The Netherlands use an account for their Prime Minister regardless of who occupies this position. In the case for instance of Italy, you can see both the account of newly elected Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and of whoever sits at Palazzo Chigi although in this case the account is basically the voice on Twitter of their press office.

I assume that the choice around which Twitter strategy to adopt depends partly on the political system. In fact it wouldn’t make much sense to implant the Dutch approach in Italy which is de facto the most unstable political system in the world (62 different governments in 68 years).

With no further ado, here is the ranking of European Heads of Government with a personal presence on Twitter ordered by Twitter followers (data as of 05/03/2014)

European_Prime_Ministers_Twitter

Newly-“elected” PM Renzi is by far the most followed European Head of State with 931K followers, followed by Monsieur Hollande with 613k and David Cameron with 608k. I say “elected” between quotation marks because I was not particularly happy with the way the new government was appointed.

The tweet above was also quoted as tweet of the week by ViEUws

Fake followers represent a common threat for the popularity of public and political figures on social media. I made an analysis based on Fakers, a tool that detects the amount of fake followers an account has. Here are the results by net followers. You can’t really prove and be 100% sure that somebody has bought fake followers. However, when you get very high rates of fake followers (like in the first 4 cases listed below) the question is at least legitimate but not assetive.

This point is quite interesting in the Italian political sphere where former comedian and current leader of the Movimento 5 Stelle Beppe Grillo largely bases his political campaign on his “alleged” digital popularity. The truth is that only 9-6% of Mr Grillo’s 1.4 million followers as considered “good” by Fakers. Anyway, here is the ranking.

Polish PM Donald Tusk‘s followers are fake by 62%. Matteo Renzi follows with 43% and Belgian Prime Minister Di Rupo is just behind with 38%.

European_Prime_Ministers_Twitter

Here is the ranking of the accounts ordered by their percentage of net followers. Fake followers don’t seem to have changed the order in this ranking.

European_Prime_Ministers_TwitterKlout is the first company really to nail down a measurement algorithm and to assign a number to people based on their perceived social influence. . Read more about it in one of my previous articles. Here is the ranking of European Heads of Government ordered by Klout score

European_Prime_Ministers_Twitter

As we can see, David Cameron displays an impressive score of 92, followed by Hollande with 88 and Di Rupo with 87

UPDATE 15/03/2014

Thanks to Twiplomacy, I found out that @zoranmilanovi, @regeringschefen and @abratusek are fake or unofficial accounts. The tables have been updated accordingly.

Brussels-based think tanks on Twitter 2014


Already last year I made a ranking of the best performing Brussels based think tanks on Twitter, which is to date my most read read blogpost. Obviously, followers are not everything and I’m not advocating that think tanks with more followers perform better than think tanks with less followers. This is why, in this analysis I also added the average percentage of retweets per post for each institution.

Today the Brussels Think Tank dialogue 2014 is taking place at the Resident Palace in Brussels (follow #BTTD14) and I have worked on a ranking with updated data including all think tanks that are listed in this excellent master thesis. At this regards, I also find it weird that it so hard to find an exhaustive list of Brussels-based think tanks online. If you have any good link please post it in the comments section below.

Out of the 32 listed think tanks, 24 have a presence on Twitter (please let me know if any of the “NOT FOUND” institutes actually have a presence on Twitter). The first 3 in the rankings are Open Society Foundations, International Crisis Group and RAND Brussels. From last year’s analysis, I put aside Fride since they did participate in last year’s think tank dialogue but they are actually based in Madrid.

Brussels_think_tanks_TwitterHowever, even though these 3 are listed in the source I mentioned above, I can’t consider any as a real Brussels-based think tank. Both OSF and ICG are worldwide organizations (as stated in their Twitter bios). Roughly, the same principle applies to RAND who have mainly US-based office. International_Crisis_Group_TwitterOpen_Society_Twitter

Below the top 3, this “non-purely-a-Brussels-based-institute” principle should be applied to the German Marshall Fund . Hence, see an adapted ranking below with actually-non-BXL-based TTs in light blue.

Following this criteria, Bruegel is the most followed think tank in Brussels, followed by and Friends of Europe and CEPS.

Brussels_Think_tanks_TwitterIn terms of retweets per post, and following the same criteria as exaplained above, the first place goes to Egmont Institute with 44%, Friends of Europe with 37% and the EastWest Institute ex aequo with Bertelsmann Stiftung scoring 31%.

Who started first on TwitterBrussels_Think_tanks_Twitter

A review of the European Commission’s social media presence in 2013


Co-written with @AmyJColgan, @PabloPerezA. Published on Waltzing Matilda Blog

Assessing our performances is key to understanding how we can improve. In this post we want to share with our readers about how the European Commission’s central social media accounts have developed – in terms of followership, engagement and the volume of conversation we are now having across our social media platforms.

European_Commission_Social_MediaFollower numbers
Let’s have a look at what the European Commission achieved in 2013 in terms of social media followership of their central accounts.

Social sharing and content engagement in 2013: who’s winning and who’s losing


What was the social sharing and content engagement trends in 2013? Which social network was most popular amongst users? This infographics explains it all. The Addthis team has unveiled the numbers and found that:

– Social activity increased by 32%
– Facebook was still the most popular sharing method
– Twitter now accounts for 13 percent of all sharing worldwide, up 3 percent from 2012.
– Pinterest sharing increased by 50%
– India and Brazil have seen the strongest gains in social sharing

This figure pales in comparison with Facebook, which makes up 26 percent of all sharing (via the Share button – the Like button controls another 16 percent), although Facebook’s slice of the pie is on the decline, falling 11 percent in the past 12 months.

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