United Kingdom

The UK Government was one of the first to embrace social media and has led the way by launching many digital strategies for its departments by taking a ‘digital by default’ approach. The Twitter account of N°10 @DowningStreet was set up under Gordon Brown in March 2008. When David Cameron came into office in May 2010 the account was renamed to @Number10gov.

Royal Household of United Kingdom BritishMonarchy

2013 was a busy year for the British Monarchy and Twitter continued to provide a fascinating insight into the work the Royal Family undertakes every year. The main highlight from 2013 was the birth of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby; three tweets had over 9,000 retweets combined. The handle shares behind the scenes experiences from royal visits, utilising video and pictures to showcase the work the Royal family does. @BritishMonarchy now follows 178 other accounts, up from only three in 2013, the majority of which are charities and NGOs. This community is reflected in engagement, with the majority of retweets and interactions focused on organisations and institutions that the British Monarchy is involved with such as @BritishArmy, @Batonrelay2014 and @DofE. The account has evolved to publish more content from ordinary Twitter users as they interact with the monarchy in some way, such as attending events or meeting members of the Royal family. The tone has evolved to be more natural and friendly, using language that is relaxed but retains a feeling of formality which makes it very easy to engage with. Buckingham Palace is mutually following the Spanish Royal household @CasaReal and the Norwegian Princely couple @Kronprinsparet.

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BritishMonarchy

@BritishMonarchy

Updates, pictures and videos from Buckingham Palace about the work and activities of The Royal Family and the institution of Monarchy.

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:18,370
Following:191
Followers:672,820
Joined Twitter: 04/28/2009
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 8.97
Retweets: 10%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.14
Replies/Tweet: 0.02
Tweets retweeted: 90%
Most mentioned @BritishMonarchy (13), @TheDukeOfYork (11), @DofE (8), @BritishArmy (8), @intaward (7), @CivilServiceFC (6), @Batonrelay2014 (6), @Pontifex (6), @wabbey (6), @bbcathedral (6).

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Prime Minister of United Kingdom David Cameron

UK Prime Minister David Cameron who once said: "The trouble with Twitter, the instantness of it – too many twits might make a tw*t." set up a personal Twitter account on 6 October 2012 for the Conservative Party conference promising that “there won't be "too many tweets..." in allusion to his earlier statement. The account is run partly by Cameron and the Conservative party team. A third of his tweets include either a picture or an infographic. However, the picture showing him on the phone with @BarackObama was lampooned by actors Rob Delaney and Patrick Stewart and became an instant internet meme. @David_Cameron’s most used hashtags are #LongTermEconomicPlan, #ForHardWorkingPeople and #GlobalRace which demonstrates that his main topics are government policy focused. David Cameron is followed by 79 other world leaders but he is mutually connected only with Australia’s Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottmhr). David Cameron’s most retweeted tweet is a picture of him with the famous music band One Direction at Number 10 for the charity event Comic Relief.

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David Cameron

@David_Cameron

Prime Minister and Leader of the @Conservatives

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:983
Following:358
Followers:698,509
Joined Twitter: 01/08/2010
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 1.56
Retweets: 5%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.41
Replies/Tweet: 0.02
Tweets retweeted: 95%
Most mentioned @BarackObama (13), @andy_murray (12), @TheSunNewspaper (10), @George_Osborne (9), @Conservatives (8), @jameswhartonmp (5), @BBCBreakfast (5), @SkyNews (5), @EnvAgency (5), @BBCNews (5).

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Government of United Kingdom UK Prime Minister

The official account of the UK Prime Minister's office is the 13th most followed Twitter account among world leaders. The institutional account was set up under Gordon Brown on 26 March 2008 and follows over 365,000 people a result of an automatic follow policy which has since been discontinued. The handle is broadcast focused, rather than conversational, as only 1% of its tweets are @replies. Nearly 30% of the content is retweets of UK government bodies including @HMTreasury, @DCMS, @HouseofCommons, and @DFID_UK. The content is mainly UK focused relating to the government #reshuffle but also to the 2013 #G8 summit in the Loch Erne. @Number10gov is unilaterally followed by 149 peers and mutually follows only 11 other foreign leaders. Its most retweeted tweet is the announcement of the death of Lady Thatcher.

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UK Prime Minister

@Number10gov

The official Twitter channel for Prime Minister David Cameron's office, based at 10 Downing Street. Twitter policy: gov.uk/government/org…

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:6,616
Following:365,871
Followers:2,676,330
Joined Twitter: 03/26/2008
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 3.87
Retweets: 29%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.4
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 71%
Most mentioned @hmtreasury (37), @G8 (37), @DFID_UK (21), @UKParliament (20), @TeamGB (18), @DCMS (16), @DHgovuk (16), @educationgovuk (16), @WhiteHouse (15), @bisgovuk (15).

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Government of United Kingdom Cabinet Office

The tweets of the @CabinetOfficeUK tend to focus on activities of members of the cabinet and support for charity initiatives. Tweets also share policy updates and links to information about government services and investment plans. The handle does not typically engage directly with individuals, but regularly retweets content from other governmental organisations and charities. People and institutions regularly referenced include Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd (@MinforCivSoc), the Open Government Partnership (@OpenGovPart) and the @UKCivilService. The tweets usually feature an image or a graphic related to a campaign. Among the most popular tweets are the announcements of the annual New Year’s honours lists.

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Cabinet Office

@cabinetofficeuk

Official Twitter feed from the UK's Cabinet Office

Peer connections (as of June 2014)

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:2,709
Following:168
Followers:118,704
Joined Twitter: 05/13/2010
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 1.74
Retweets: 31%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.33
Replies/Tweet: 0.03
Tweets retweeted: 65%
Most mentioned @minforcivsoc (51), @opengovpart (49), @UKCivilService (21), @RHCabinetOffice (21), @publicleaders (14), @G8 (13), @nick_clegg (12), @GOVUK (12), @SirBobKerslake (12), @UKTransparency (11).

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Foreign Minister of United Kingdom William Hague

Demonstrating the unpredictable nature of Twitter activity, the most popular tweet from Foreign Minister @WilliamJHague in 2013 was an obscure tweet congratulating Dubai on the award of the #2020Expo. This demonstrates that inadvertent engagement with vibrant hashtags alongside a cultural reference (#Mabruk, in this case) can link handles into previously untouched global audiences. The most favourited tweet of 2013 was a reference to improved relations with Iran showing the range of issues engaged by the handle. The handle is a blend of formal broadcast statements alongside conversational interactions on thematic issues such as human rights and the UK’s involvement in international affairs. The team at the UK Foreign Office running the account operates a #askFS hashtag providing a feedback loop for members of the public to ask the minister questions. However, apart from #askFS question and answer sessions, there is not a great deal of day-to-day interaction with Twitter users. The need to broadcast a large volume of information on international developments is understandably prioritised. Beyond references to @ForeignOffice, the handle’s most mentioned users are Foreign Ministers @NasserJudeh, @LaurentFabius, @SikorskiRadek, @CarlBildt and @JohnKerry the top friends of @WilliamJHague online.

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William Hague

@WilliamJHague

1st Secretary of State, Leader of House of Commons, PM's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, & MP for Richmond. Married to Ffion

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:3,847
Following:397
Followers:231,783
Joined Twitter: 03/14/2010
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 2.69
Retweets: 18%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.42
Replies/Tweet: 0.14
Tweets retweeted: 78%
Most mentioned @foreignoffice (95), @WilliamJHague (34), @NasserJudeh (16), @LaurentFabius (15), @UN (14), @sikorskiradek (13), @carlbildt (13), @NATO (13), @JohnKerry (13), @Refugees (11).

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Foreign Ministry of United Kingdom Foreign Office (FCO)

The UK Foreign Office has been at the forefront of diplomatic hashtag campaigns highlighting issues from #Ukraine to #Syria, and #Iran with specific hashtags for #TimeToAct to end #SexualViolence. The @ForeignOffice and its allies tweeted #UnitedForUkraine, a hashtag which received more than 70 million impressions and was also picked up by Russia’s foreign ministry. The most popular tweet of the @ForeignOffice is an infographic illustrating the international support for Russia’s annexation of #Crimea and the relevant hashtag #RussiaIsolated. The account makes a good use of pictures including the images of St George’s flag and the flag of Wales flying over the Foreign Office which are among its most popular tweets demonstrating a strong patriotic spirit in the UK. In June 2013 it recorded its first six-second Vine video of the Falklands’ flag flying proudly over its headquarters in remembrance of the British liberation of the islands in 1982. The Foreign Office maintains six Twitter lists including one with its record 307 embassies, consulates, missions, ambassadors and deputy heads of missions on Twitter. Travel advice can be found on @FCOTravel and there is an account in Urdu @UKUrdu. The @ForeignOffice is mutually connected with 57 other world leaders on Twitter.

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Foreign Office (FCO)

@foreignoffice

Latest news from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office #DigitalDiplomacy. For a comprehensive list of the FCO on social media see ow.ly/qCIn7

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:19,122
Following:31,623
Followers:217,968
Joined Twitter: 04/10/2008
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 13.73
Retweets: 60%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.39
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 39%
Most mentioned @WilliamJHague (560), @foreignoffice (65), @MarkJSimmonds (53), @HugoSwire (50), @HughRobertsonMP (47), @DLidington (36), @SayeedaWarsi (22), @UN (15), @FCOtravel (13), @FarahFCO (12).

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