Nigel Farage is top tweeter among senior UK politicians, says Talkwalker report

The UK's top political leaders are far more active on social media than the leaders of the UK's top listed companies, says new research that found Nigel Farage is by far the most active high-profile UK politician on Twitter.

Nigel Farage: The UKIP leader sent 258 tweets in December
Nigel Farage: The UKIP leader sent 258 tweets in December

The study by social media monitoring firm Talkwalker found that the UKIP leader sent 258 tweets last month, way ahead of his closest rival Ed Miliband who tweeted only 173 times.

Other top political tweeters include Ed Balls and Nick Clegg who both tweeted 80 times. They were just ahead of Tory tweeters David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson (77, 71 and 52 tweets respectively).

"Being busy" may be the reason the politicians beat FTSE100 chief executives hands down when it comes to using social media. The study found that just seven FTSE100 CEOs were active last month. The most prolific was Sage’s Stephen Kelly who tweeted 112 times followed by AMEC Foster Wheeler CEO, Samir Brikho (57 tweets) and Xavier Rolet, CEO of London Stock Exchange (49 tweets).

The other four tweeting FTSE100 CEOs are John Fallon of Pearson (37), Steven Holliday of National Grid (10), Martin Gilbert of Aberdeen Asset Management (five) and ARM CEO Simon Segars (three).

But both politicians and FTSE100 CEOs were given a lesson in the use of social media by Virgin boss Richard Branson who the report describes as being "in a class of his own". He tweeted 231 times last month to his 4.76 million followers.

Talkwalker chief executive Robert Glaesener said CEOs are ignoring Twitter at their peril:

"Ignoring Twitter is like letting the phone ring. Twitter is not a parallel universe for egocentric celebs and chatty customer services. It is a dynamic forum in which a CEO can lead from the front, extend influence, impress stakeholders, set a corporate benchmark and show staff how to engage with their stakeholders.

"CEOs are good at listening to the social world, digesting news and gathering opinion. If they want to influence it, the time is rapidly approaching when they will have to engage with it."


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