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New Research Shows Who's Hot On The London Twitter Scene

Ricky Gervais Favourite In The Big Smoke


Do you long for more than a solitary favourite from that one aunt who found your Twitter handle, for exposure beyond that once-in-a-blue-moon retweet which your friend later admitted was an accident? Do you, in short, long to be on the list recently released by social media analytics company PeerIndex of the most influential Twitter users in London?

Top of the list was Ricky Gervais, followed by Caitlin Moran and Lucy Watson (from Made In Chelsea, to save that popping up in your search history). David Cameron scraped into the top ten, narrowly beating out Josh Cuthbert of boy band Union J.


A couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly this list is limited to London, which explains the preponderance of reality TV stars and Arsenal players. Secondly this was based on responses, retweets, and engagements with the Tweeter in question, rather than brute force of numbers. This is why Emma Watson, with over 14 million followers, languishes down at number 61, while Owen Jones, with a paltry two hundred thousand, storms in at number 9.

The idea of measuring regional social media influence is an interesting one. Social media is, inherently, an international platform – part of its unique appeal is the ability to form a network of communication across borders and continents. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a fundamentally human form of communication, and there are plenty of facets of that – references, in-jokes, even sentence structure and dialect – which operate at an inherently local level. By examining the influence and engagement which these Twitter users have at the local level, one gets a more nuanced view of Twitter’s population than from a global standpoint; while clearly the mass popularity of Made In Chelsea stars shows up, the presence of journalists and writers high up on the list indicates that there is a genuinely intellectual component to the platform which tends to get drowned out in the general hubbub.

The list also excluded corporate, brand, and parody accounts (bad luck for @samuelpepys) to give a clearer indicator of the individuals whom Londoners felt most connected with. As PeerIndex founder Azeem Azhar noted, the list demonstrated how London is ‘rich and diverse audience interested in sport, music, politics and, perhaps most of all, having a laugh. There are more comedians in this list than any of the other places with looked at’ (PeerIndex has compiled similar lists for places like New York).

Individuals and businesses often see social media as a way to reach a global audience, to cover as wide an area as possible as quickly as possible. What’s important to remember, though, is that sensitivity to local conditions is just as vital. This is more than just inadvertently using some word which is spectacularly offensive in the local language; a deft touch with regional concerns and prevailing attitudes can work wonders for endearing people to your brand. In the case of London this seems to be: be funny, and preferably from Made In Chelsea.


Douglas is an English Literature graduate who has written about everything from music to food to theatre, now a content creator for Social Media Frontiers. No topic too large or too small. Follow him @DouglasAtSMF.

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New Research Shows Who's Hot On The London Twitter Scene Reviewed by Douglas Clarke-Williams on Thursday, September 04, 2014 Rating: 5
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