The Deverill European Twitter Business Index analysed tweets sent out by twelve major European business media across six countries (UK, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium and Switzerland) over a twelve month period. The study examined which business stories trended by topic, based on number of tweets.
The study conducted by Tweetminster, demonstrated that UK coverage was by far the most globally orientated, covering a more varied number of subjects about companies beyond their national boundaries. The media outlets in the five continental European countries tended to focus on companies within their own jurisdiction; they sent fewer tweets and focused on a smaller number of companies and issues.
During the year long period of the study, the UK proved to be the European hub for tweeting on business topics, being 69% more prolific than Spain – the most prolific jurisdiction after the UK – and 95% more prolific than Switzerland, the country with the fewest tweets. Once the major broadsheets in the UK started to tweet on a subject it was more than likely to become a global topic or issue.
The most mentioned companies across all countries, highlighted at the top left of the visualisation, tended to be of interest throughout the year across the European media, i.e. did not just have coverage in a single country. The subjects tweeted by national newspapers, and which had the most coverage in each country are laid out in the country silos. It is possible for companies to receive coverage in a single country, i.e. Credit Suisse, which was discussed in tweets sent out by Swiss newspapers at key moments during the year, but was not the subject matter of enough tweets across Europe to figure in the top ten most mentioned companies across European outlets.
Conversely, some of the overall top trends (i.e. they had high volumes across all the countries and figured in the most mentioned list) weren’t necessarily a top trend in any specific country, i.e. Bayer, Accor and EADS.
The research drew out noteworthy variations on what was of interest to different countries. The word “agreement” figured highly in France and Belgium, reflecting the political culture where stakeholders are consistently seeking agreement, either in terms of forming a government, as in the case of Belgium, or in terms of dealing with industrial relations in France. Topics such as government, the euro crisis, the EU figure prominently in Belgium, France and Spain. Broader, international regulatory issues (and scandals), such as inter-bank interest rate, LIBOR, is a top-trend in both Switzerland and UK, the only non-euro countries in the analysis.
Twitter is a global platform, so whilst news outlets are tweeting on companies and issues pertaining to their respective country, they are also actively following news from other countries. It is worth noting that tone – either positive or negative – appears to be set by the relevant national media, before it is retweeted to other countries. So a company might consider focusing on national titles or global-facing outlets like the UK titles, when aiming to influence the media favourably.
Deverill Executive Search is an independent, international executive search firm, specialising in the corporate affairs industry.
Our clients are multi-national, listed or privately held, organisations with multifaceted requirements across the full range of communications disciplines, including government affairs, media and investor relations, CSR, employee engagement and digital communications.