trade unions
30 Nov 2015

Which unions are the most influential in social media in 2015?

Every November I look at how influential the TUC-affiliated unions are in social media (see results for 2012, 2013 and 2014).

Specifically, I look at Twitter, which due to its open nature is the only social media platform that can be fully analysed. It's arguably the most important social media channel for unions as well.

One big change this year is that I've used Klout on its own. Klout is a social media analytics tool.

Previously I've also used Kred, but that platform can no longer be used to analyse all Twitter accounts. I considered using Topsy instead, but its 'sentiment score' is too short term, and wouldn't reflect the work unions have been carrying out throughout the year.


  Union Username Klout (out of 100) Notes
1 (1) Unite @unitetheunion 84  
2 (5) Equity @EquityUK 66  
3 (4) PFA @pfa 65  
4 (2) UNISON @unisontweets 64  
5 (15) ATL @ATLUnion 62  
5 (6) FBU @fbunational 62  
5 (3) PCS @pcs_union 62  
5 (-) RCM @MidwivesRCM 62 New entry
9 (9) Chartered Society of Physiotherapy @thecsp 61  
9 (7) NUT @NUTonline 61  
9 (8) UCU @ucu 61  
12 (17) BALPA @BALPApilots 60 .
12 (10) NUJ @NUJofficial 60  
14 (27) Community @CommunityUnion 59  
14 (12) Musicians’ Union @WeAreTheMU 59  
16 (13) BDA @BrDieteticAssoc 58  
16 (12) BECTU @bectu 58  
16 (25) NAHT @NAHTnews 58  
16 (19) Society of Radiographers @SCoRMembers 58  
16 (22) USDAW @UsdawUnion 58  
21 (11) RMT @RMTunion 57  
21 (28) AFA CWA @afa_cwa 57 International
23 (16) NASUWT @NASUWT 55  
24 (21) CWU @CWUnews 54  
24 (23) GMB @GMB_union 54 .
24 (17) The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain @TheWritersGuild 54  
27 (33) EIS @EISUnion 53  
27 (26) Prospect @ProspectUnion 53  
29 (20) BFAWU @IanBFAWU 52  
30 (29) ASLEF @ASLEFunion 51  
30 (34) Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists @SCP_PodiatryUK 51  
32 (23) TSSA @TSSAunion 50  
32 (31) Nautilus Intl @nautilusint 50  
34 (35) FDA @FDA_union 48  
35 (32) UCATT @UCATTunion 46  
36 (30) NAPO @Napo_News 44  
36 (37) UCAC @AthrawonCymru 44  
38 (36) Accord @GedNichols 43  Closest to an official account
39 (39) BIOS @followBIOS 42  
40 (38) AEP @katefallonaep 41  Closest to an official account
40 (–) HCSA @hcsanews 41 New entry
42 (41) NACO @NACOtradeunion 28  
43 (44) Aegis @aegisunionlearn 25  Closest to an official account
43 (43) NASS @NASSnewsinfo 25  
45 (40) Unity @UnityUnion 24  
45 (42) NGSU @TimPoil 24  Closest to an official account
47 (45) URTU @URTUonline N/A Not used recently enough to score
Advance     No Twitter account
BACM-TEAM     No Twitter account
BSU     No Twitter account
NACODS     No Twitter account
NUM     No Twitter account
POA     No Twitter account
SURGE     No Twitter account
OURS     No Twitter account
YISA     No Twitter account

Unite have come out top every year, and 2015 is no exception. With a very impressive Klout score of 84, Unite are in a league of their own.

Equity perform well in 2nd place, with the PFA also punching above their weight in 3rd. UNISON fall to their lowest ever position of 4th, while the ATL, FBU, PCS and newly affiliated RCM are all tied at 5th.

There are some new entries this year. As well as the RCM, the HCSA have started tweeting, debuting in 40th place. There are now only a handful of unions not on Twitter.

Biggest risers

Union Positions moved up
Community 13
ATL 10

Community have risen the most in the last year, up 13 places to 14th. The ATL are up 10 places to an impressive 5th while the NAHT have risen 9 places to 16th. AFA CWA, EIS and USDAW have all also enjoyed a significant boost.

Biggest falls

Union Positions moved down
RMT 10
NASUWT, The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain 7

The biggest slump goes to the RMT, who have moved down 10 places to 21st. The BFAWU and TSSA both slip down 9 places to 29th and 32nd respectively.

Other noticeable declines are for NASUWT and The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, who both slip down 7 places. A few years ago, union social media scores were rising year on year, but they are generally more stable now as unions have become used to working with Twitter.

It's worth noting that some of these scores are very impressive, especially Unite's. Unions have been criticised for not using technology well, but this isn't the case with Twitter, a platform well suited to the movement.

James Sparks (BALPA)     January 06


Always a pleasure to see these results. Thanks for doing the comparison. It’s really useful to know how the hard work pays off during the year and helps to convince others of the importance of using Social Media as a comms channel.


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