Which unions are the most influential in social media in 2013?
In 2012 I carried out some research to see which TUC affiliated unions are the most influential in social media. I published the results on my website in a league table. It’s been a year since that first survey, so I’ve updated the results to see how things have changed, enabling unions to measure their progress over the past year.
It’s difficult to measure social media influence. Twitter is arguably the key social media platform for unions, and also the most open for analysis, so this research is based on Twitter alone.
There are two main services for measuring the influence of a Twitter account: Kred and Klout. They use different criteria, and so I’ve taken an average score weighted equally between these two services. Both Kred and Klout look at indicators such as the number of followers, tweets, retweets and mentions in other people’s tweets.
The full results are below:
|Union||Username||Klout (out of 100)||Kred influence (out of 1000)||Average (out of 100)||Notes|
|7 (4)||NUT||@NUTonline||64||Privacy settings do not allow Kred access||–||Tied for 7th place. Estimated position based on Klout score|
|7 (26)||FBU||@fbunational||64||Privacy settings do not allow Kred access.||–||Tied for 7th place. Estimated position based on Klout score.|
|10 (7)||NUJ||@NUJofficial||60||784||69.2||Tied for 10th place|
|10 (12)||NASUWT||@NASUWT||60||784||69.2||Tied for 10th place|
|12 (9)||Musicians’ Union||@WeAreTheMU||60||776||68.8|
|13 (13)||Chartered Society of Physiotherapy||@thecsp||60||770||68.5|
|14 (8)||The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain||@TheWritersGuild||59||773||68.15|
|26 (22)||AFA CWA||@afa_cwa||54||706||62.3|
|29 (27)||Nautilus Intl||@nautilusint||48||704||59.2|
|30 (32)||Society of Radiographers||@SCoRMembers||50||682||59.1|
|32 (30)||Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists||@SCP_PodiatryUK||44||655||54.75|
|36 (34)||AEP||@katefallonaep||42||593||50.65||Closest to an official account|
|41 (37)||URTU||@URTUonline||Not used recently enough for scoring.||340||–||Estimated position based on Kred score.|
|–||Advance||No Twitter account|
|–||Aegis||No Twitter account|
|–||BACM-TEAM||No Twitter account|
|–||BSU||No Twitter account|
|–||HCSA||No Twitter account|
|–||NACODS||No Twitter account|
|–||NUM||No Twitter account|
|–||POA||No Twitter account|
|–||SURGE||No Twitter account|
|–||OURS||No Twitter account|
|–||YISA||No Twitter account|
Sources: Klout.com & Kred.com, November 2013.
Unite is still in the top spot by a large margin, with very impressive metrics that compare favourably against most high profile celebrity accounts. Unite’s performance on Twitter is really impressive, and goes to shows how effective unions can be in social media. Unison move up to 2nd place, pushing PCS down to 3rd. The PFA is one of the biggest risers – they have jumped from 15th in last year’s survey to 4th place.
Equity and UCU stay in 5th and 6th place respectively, while the NUT drop to joint 7th and the FBU jump from 26th to joint 7th. The CWU have also significantly improved their Twitter presence, going from 18th to 9th, while the NASUWT and the NUJ completes the top 10.
|Union||Positions moved up|
|Union||Positions moved down|
|BECTU, Writers Guild of Great Britain||6|
|Community, RMT, TSSA||5|
Another interesting development is that more unions have started using Twitter in the last 12 months. Last year, 38 of the 54 TUC-affiliated unions had Twitter accounts. Now 43 are using Twitter, including the FDA, and UCATT, who just launched their account in October.
There are, of course, significant limitations with any analysis of this kind:
- The results are reliant on the effectiveness of Kred and Klout at measuring social media influence.
- Also, although I’ve based this analysis on Twitter, many unions will be using other platforms, especially Facebook.
- Some unions may have a strategy where they use multiple Twitter accounts, and this could dilute the influence of the main official account, affecting their position in this analysis.
The results show that most unions are increasingly utilising their Twitter accounts, while five more unions have opened accounts in the past year. Twitter has become a key online tool for unions.
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