The European Commission’s EMPL presence on Twitter in 2012
Twitter mentions help users communicate and give more visibility to the one mentioned. The mention format is the Twitter username (handle), preceded by the “@” symbol (@username). The mention can be placed anywhere in the tweet body. The replies are also considered mentions since their mark (“@”) is similar. The statistics on mentions, their occurrences and the tweets employing mentions of the three Twitter account holders, namely Social Europe, EURes and Commissioner Andor, are presented in Figure 1. (Previous information describing the results of this research project are available in these articles)
The information in Figure 1 introduces the following categories:
- their occurrences, which are higher as certain users were mentioned more than once, and
- the number of tweets where mentions were part of their bodies.
There were 159 accounts mentioned by the three account holders, from which 153 were valid accounts (6 of the accounts were discarded either for being closed or unidentified in 2012). The 159 accounts were mentioned 194 times by the three account holders. The difference of 35 accounts arises from one or more account being mentioned by two or even all the three account holders.
The occurrences of mentions amount to 462, which means that they were recorded 462 times in 357 tweet bodies. Commissioner Andor leads the statistics for mentions with 169 tweets (47% of the total tweets with mentions), which means that he used 97 mentions (50% of the total of mentions) with an occurrence of 230 (47% of the total occurrences). Social Europe comes in second position having issued 140 tweets (39% of the total tweets with mentions), where 64 mentions were used (32% of the total of mentions) with an occurrence of 174 (38% of the total occurrences). EURes comes in third position having issued 48 tweets (13% of the total tweets with mentions), where 33 mentions appear (17% of the total of mentions) with an occurrence of 58 (13% of the total occurrences).
Top mentions with at least 5 occurrences
There are 16 accounts (57%) that were mentioned by the three account holders in their tweets at least 5 times. Top 3 includes Commissioner Andor (96 occurrences), EU Commission (21 occurrences) and Eurofound (19 occurrences). Apart from one NGO (@ESUtwt), an international body (@ILOnews) and a Twitter facility to hide a tag (@hidetag, used during the chat to avoid running too much information in the feeds of the chat host’s followers, Commissioner Andor), the others are EU public figures and EU bodies. While Commissioner Andor was in first position, EUResjob and Social Europe came in the fourth and sixth place.
Distribution of mentions by country of the mentioned users
The statistics on the country of mentioned users (Figure 3) places Belgium on top with 73 users, as Brussels is the home for most EU institutions and EU public figures. Belgium is followed by countries outside EU (22), the UK (11), Italy (9), Ireland (8), Spain (7), France and The Netherlands (5), Croatia, Greece and Sweden (2) and the remaining countries with 1 user each.
The top mentions with at least five occurrences and the distribution of mentions by country are a sign of top level collaboration and of an interest in certain key EU public figures and EU bodies in relation to topics discussed by the three account holders on Twitter.
This is the case with the Employment Package, where supporting job creation in the EU countries, making labour markets more dynamic, and improving EU governance, involve not only social but also other policies. The leading position of Commissioner Andor in terms of mentions could be also explained through the mentions by followers while interacting with him during the chat on Youth Employment in December 2012.
The remaining top mentions are located in countries either visited by Commissioner Andor or by countries hosting some events. Among the top mentions there is also an EU body, Eurofound (Ireland), which is an EU agency working closely with DG EMPL.
The mentions are a relevant indicator when discussing the engagement of the three account holders with their followers in the forthcoming articles.
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