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 and became the Prime Minister’s account @Number10gov.

Tweets from United Kingdom leaders

Royal Household of United Kingdom BritishMonarchy

The most retweeted tweet of the @BritishMonarchy was sent on 24 October 2014 by none other than Queen Elizabeth herself to open an exhibition at the Science Museum. The tweet signed by the Queen was retweeted more than 43,000 times. Another important milestone relayed on the royal account was the birth of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby. 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 263 other accounts, up from only three in 2013 and 178 in 2014, 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 the @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 the @Elysee palace and Canada’s Prime Minister @pmharper.

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BritishMonarchy

@BritishMonarchy

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

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Tweets:19,866
Following:258
Followers:957,112
Joined Twitter: 04/28/2009
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 6.46
Retweets: 25%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.33
Replies/Tweet: 0.05
Tweets retweeted: 74%
Most mentioned @Storify (40), @TheDukeOfYork (31), @QueensLeaders (22), @BritishMonarchy (18), @BDCH (15), @ClarenceHouse (15), @Glasgow2014 (15), @intaward (12), @nfassociation (11), @GameOfThrones (10).
Average of retweets 70

First tweet

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. #Reshuffle was also used prominently during the summer of 2014 as the cabinet underwent senior changes. David Cameron is followed by 79 other world leaders but he is mutually connected only with Australia’s @TonyAbbottMHR and @JohnKerry. 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 April 2015)

Tweets:1,563
Following:386
Followers:940,510
Joined Twitter: 01/08/2010
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 1.74
Retweets: 6%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.35
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 94%
Most mentioned @BarackObama (22), @George_Osborne (16), @andy_murray (14), @TheSunNewspaper (12), @SkyNews (10), @Conservatives (10), @BBCr4today (8), @BBCBreakfast (8), @WilliamJHague (8), @BBCNews (6).
Average of retweets 308

First tweet

Government of United Kingdom UK Prime Minister

The official account of the UK Prime Minister's office is the 14th most followed Twitter account among world leaders. The institutional account was set up under Gordon Brown on 26 March 2008. The account which at one point followed over 365,000 Twitter users, a result of an initial automatic follow policy has quietly reduced the number of accounts it follows. The handle is broadcast focused, rather than conversational, as only 1% of its tweets are @replies. 27% of the content is retweets of UK government bodies including @HMTreasury, @HouseofCommons, @DCMS, 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 165 peers and mutually follows only 11 other foreign leaders. Interestingly @Number10gov is unilaterally following Argentina’s President @CFKArgentina who hasn’t returned the favor.

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UK Prime Minister

@Number10gov

The official Twitter channel for Prime Minister David Cameron's office, based at 10 Downing Street. Read social media policy: bit.ly/No10-social-me…

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Tweets:8,305
Following:675
Followers:3,052,587
Joined Twitter: 03/26/2008
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 5.50
Retweets: 28%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.34
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 72%
Most mentioned @hmtreasury (26), @DWPgovuk (18), @StartUpLoansUK (18), @bisgovuk (15), @transportgovuk (15), @CommunitiesUK (14), @helptobuy (14), @ONS (14), @NATOWales (13), @DCMS (13).
Average of retweets 87

First tweet

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 tweets referencing WWI remembrance activities, supporting London LGBT Pride and 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 April 2015)

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Tweets:3,969
Following:207
Followers:181,661
Joined Twitter: 05/13/2010
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 3.16
Retweets: 38%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.36
Replies/Tweet: 0.03
Tweets retweeted: 60%
Most mentioned @minforcivsoc (74), @opengovpart (52), @UKCivilService (48), @RHCabinetOffice (23), @NCS (16), @gdsteam (16), @UKYP (14), @G8 (13), @SirBobKerslake (12), @SMECrownRep (11).
Average of retweets 19

First tweet

Foreign Minister of United Kingdom Philip Hammond

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is a newcomer on Twitter, joining on 22 September 2014 ahead of the annual UN General Assembly. @PHammondMP tweets on average once a day, often posting handshake pictures of the Foreign Secretary’s bilateral meetings. The account’s administrators have made a conscious effort to make Twitter connections, unilaterally following 205 other world leaders; the account follows 758 handles in total. The account doesn’t have a large following compared to his illustrious predecessor @WilliamJHague but Philip Hammond is now mutually connected with 47 peers on Twitter.

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Philip Hammond

@PHammondMP

Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Member of Parliament for Runnymede & Weybridge

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Tweets:308
Following:758
Followers:15,469
Joined Twitter: 07/17/2014
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 1.68
Retweets: 5%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.56
Replies/Tweet: 0.00
Tweets retweeted: 95%
Most mentioned @JohnKerry (17), @LaurentFabius (7), @JZarif (4), @JulieBishopMP (3), @SushmaSwaraj (3), @edgarsrinkevics (3), @avucic (3), @FedericaMog (3), @LagumdzijaZ (3), @BBCr4today (2).
Average of retweets 56

First tweet

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 a 1914 quote from Sir Edward Grey – this was tweeted as part of WWI remembrance activities. 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 account has been running a series called #OurPeopleIn, aimed at telling the stories of delegates, ambassadors and British staff working all over the world on behalf of the Foreign Office. The Foreign Office maintains six Twitter lists including one with its record 306 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 60 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 April 2015)

Tweets:21,704
Following:29,741
Followers:324,306
Joined Twitter: 04/10/2008
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 10.01
Retweets: 61%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.30
Replies/Tweet: 0.00
Tweets retweeted: 39%
Most mentioned @WilliamJHague (134), @PHammondMP (133), @TobiasEllwoodMP (49), @end_svc (32), @foreignoffice (31), @HugoSwire (29), @DLidington (25), @NATOWales (18), @SimonFraserFCO (15), @UN (12).
Average of retweets 29

First tweet