A look at the effect of Twitter on the #WEF in #Davos
A decade ago this month the first Twitter wall went up at the World Economic Forum in Davos to ‘Connect on the Magic Mountain’ and build a digital bridge with the outside world. At a private session, the Forum unveiled the wall of tweets of the 23 participants who had a presence on the platform, commenting on their digital takeaways.
By 2012 a quarter of all 2,600 participants were on the social media platform and Twitter became known as the Drug of Davos.
Fast forward to 2018: Today more than half of the 3,000 participants have personal Twitter accounts and 1,242 are regularly active on the platform. The @WEF itself has 3.2 million followers and publishes an average of 100 tweets per day, tweeting like a news organization.
Over the years, social media and particularly Twitter have opened the exclusive meeting in the Swiss Alps to a global audience. Today you can follow the discussions on social media and the Forum fosters input from the general public on Facebook.
The Forum’s public Twitter list of Davos participants reads like a Rolodex of the global elite. US President Donald Trump, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan are by far the three most followed Davos tweeps this year with more than 30 million followers each.
However, looking at the Twitter connections of the Davos attendees, former US President @BarackObama, who never came to Davos, is still the most popular leader, followed by 654 of the 1,517 participants on Twitter. @BillGates is in second position, ahead of @realDonaldTrump and his institutional @POTUS account. Former US Secretary of State @HillaryClinton is in fifth place and the only woman in the Top 10-list.
The Economist is by far the most popular media organisation, followed by 652 Davos participants ahead of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, followed by 604 and 504 participants respectively. The @BBCBreaking and @CNNbrk news accounts complete the Top 5-list.
Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington, Tom Friedman & Nick Kristof of The New York Times, Fareed Zakaria & Christiane Amanpour from CNN are the five journalists most followed by the Davos tweeps.
Not surprisingly, the two main Twitter accounts of the World Economic Forum, @WEF and @Davos are most followed by Davos attendees. The @UN is followed by 334 participants ahead of the @WorldBank, the @GatesFoundation and the International Monetary Fund (@IMFNews).
Especially journalists tend to use Twitter to establish contacts with the global elite. @MikeAllen, the co-founder of Axios is the best-connected Davos participant, having established mutual Twitter connections with 122 other participants. The Forum’s Head of Public and Social Engagement, Adrian Monck (@AMonck) is the second best connected participant, followed by Anthony @Scaramucci, the short-lived White House Communication Director and a Davos regular. Ryan Heath, the editor of the Brussels Playbook column for Politico Europe and Børge Brende, (@BorgeBrende), the president of the World Economic Forum and former Norwegian Foreign Minister complete the Top 5-list of the Davos connectors.
Conversation at the World Economic Forum now takes place as much online as offline so it is critical that participants at the Annual Meeting in Davos make full use of all social channels – especially Twitter – if they don’t want to miss out on valuable connections and reaching a global audience.
The Twiplomacy team will be in Davos next week, capturing the tweets coming out of the Congress Centre and sharing the best posts in a Twitter Moment.