In the 21st century, campaign discussions increasingly circulate within social media, and when it comes to politics and social media, Twitter is the primary channel that enhances engagement between candidates and their constituents. Grayling Austria and the Austrian media monitoring agency “Observer” have evaluated how Members of the European Parliament are performing on Twitter and who is doing it the best.
Source: Percentage of MEPs on Social media per EU-country, Observer – talkwalker analysis, evaluation period 17.01.2019 – 15.02.2019
MEPs on Social media at a glance:
- Overall, of the 751 total MEPs, 496 have Twitter accounts and 520 have accounts on Facebook.
- Slovenia and Malta have the highest proportion of MEPs who use twitter
- Luxembourg, Hungary and the UK have the lowest proportion of MEPs who use Twitter
MEPs on Twitter
Source: Top50 MEPs on Twitter sorted by number of followers, Observer – talkwalker analysis, evaluation period 17.01.2019 – 15.02.2019
Polish Christian Democrat Jerzy Buzek is the MEP with the most Twitter followers (371.000), with Leader of the Liberal Group Guy Verhofstadt in second place – though the latter’s posts are more likely to go viral.
Source: Top5 Tweets of MEPs sorted by engagement, Observer – talkwalker analysis, evaluation period 17.01.2019 – 15.02.2019
During the evaluation period (28.02.2019 – 29.02.2019), the British eurosceptic Nigel Farage is the most influential MEP on Twitter with the highest engagement (including shares, comments, likes, retweets). In second place is the German Green MEP Julia Reda and the Spanish Liberal Beatriz Becerra.
One thing is clear – anyone standing to be an MEP in the election needs not only to be aware of the power of social media, and Twitter in particular – they also need to use it well, engaging with constituents on meaningful issues, and not just broadcasting one-way from their ivory tower.
Source: Top10 MEPs on Twitter sorted by engagement, Observer – talkwalker analysis, evaluation period 28.02.2019 – 29.02.2019