trade unions
30 Nov 2018

Which unions are the most influential on Twitter in 2018?

Every November, I compile metrics to see which union are the most influential on Twitter. This is the seventh year I’ve been doing this analysis, and previous results can be found on this blog (20122013201420152016 and 2017).

For the last few years, I’ve been using a tool called Klout to collect the metrics, but Klout has been taken over and now shut down by a company called Lithium, who acquired Klout in order to obtain their AI and machine learning technologies.

However, another tool I've used in the past called Kred is still going strong and has improved, so this year I’ve used their influence score. Kred measures influence by monitoring how frequently an account is Retweeted, Replied, Mentioned and Followed on Twitter over the last 1,000 days. A score out of 1,000 is then allocated to the account.

Please note: The new scoring metrics measures performance over 1,000 days and not just for this year. As a result, there can be a delay in it reflecting the true impact of recently improved performance. 

No Union Name Kred Notes
1 (1) Unite @unitetheunion 963  
2 (9) PCS @pcs_union 961  
3 (9) FBU @fbunational 960  
4 (4) UNISON @unisontweets 947  
5 (3) PFA @pfa 942  
6 (26) NUT (Section of NEU) @NUTonline 940 Still active after merger
7 (7) Chartered Society of Physiotherapy @thecsp 927  
8 (9) UCU @ucu 925  
9 (4) Equity @EquityUK 924  
10 (14) NUJ @NUJofficial 915  
11 (6) RMT @RMTunion 914  
12 (9) RCM @MidwivesRCM 911  
13 (28) ATL (Section of NEU) @ATLUnion 898 Still active after merger
14 (2) CWU @CWUnews 895  
14 (14) BDA @BrDieteticAssoc 895  
16 (14) Musicians’ Union @WeAreTheMU 890  
17 (24) NASUWT @NASUWT 888  
18 (14) Society of Radiographers @SCoRMembers 883  
19 (24) TSSA @TSSAunion 863  
20 (14) BECTU  (Section of Prospect) @bectu 850 Still active after merger
21 (7) GMB @GMB_union 841  
22 (32) The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain @TheWritersGuild 838  
23 (26) Community @CommunityUnion 833  
24 (28) Prospect @ProspectUnion 821  
24 (14) NAHT @NAHTnews 821  
26 (14) USDAW @UsdawUnion 817  
27 (14) BALPA @BALPApilots 790  
28 (23) ASLEF @ASLEFunion 788  
28 (37) NAPO @Napo_News 788  
30 (30) EIS @EISUnion 784  
31 (30) Nautilus Intl @nautilusint 771  
32 (14) AFA CWA @afa_cwa 768 International
33 (34) Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists @CollegePodiatry 752  
34 (9) NEU @NEUnion 743  
35 (35) FDA @FDA_union 734  
36 (40) Accord @GedNichols 699  
37 (37) UCAC @AthrawonCymru 682  
38 (37) BIOS @followBIOS 673  
39 (32) BFAWU @bfawu1 655  
40 (36) HCSA @hcsanews 609  
41 (40) POA @POAUnion 572  
42 (44) NACO @NACOtradeunion 562  
43 (40) AEP @aepsychologists 554  
44 (-) NARS @NARSnewsinfo 523  
45 (45) NGSU @TimPoil 420  
46 (43) Aegis @aegisunionlear 372  
  URTU @URTUonline   No Tweets in the last 1,000 days.
  Advance No Twitter    
  NACODS No Twitter    
  NUM No Twitter    

Source:, November 2018.

Unite continue their impressive run, coming top yet again. They’ve been in first place since I started this research eight year ago.  PCS also do well, having jumped from joint 9th to 2nd. 

The FBU perform exceptionally well considering their membership size, jumping from joint 9th to 3rd. UNISON, the PFA, the NUT section of the NEU, the CSP, UCU, Equity and the NUJ make up the rest of the top ten.  


Biggest risers

Union Positions moved up
NUT 20
ATL 15
The Writers Guild of Great Britain 10


 Interestingly, the top two risers are the NUT and ATL section of the newly formed NEU, going up a whopping 20 and 15 places respectively.  I’ve included these two sections this year, but I’d assumed that these two accounts would be winding down as they move to the NEU account.  The Writers Guild of Great Britain posts the third largest rise of 10 places, followed by NAPO who leap 9 spots.  


Biggest falls

Union Positions moved down
NEU 25
GMB 14


 There has been some big falls this year as well. The NEU lead the way, falling from 9th to 34th place. AFA-CWA slip 18 places to 32nd while the GMB slip down from 7th to 21st. Other noticeable falls include BALPA (13 places), USDAW and the CWU (both 12 places). Some of these large changes would have been caused be the switch to the Kred metric outlined at the start of this article. Kred looks at the last 1,000 days when calculating influence and some of these accounts, such as the NEU account are less than 1,000 days old. Klout seemed to use a shorter timeframe. There is only one debut this year, with the recently rebranded NARS (formerly NASS) deciding to re-join Twitter. They enter in 44th place.

Which unions are the most generous on twitter?

This year, I thought it would also be interesting to look at a metric called ‘Outreach’ to see which unions are the most generous on Twitter. Kred, the service I use to look at Twitter metrics, compiles the Outreach score by looking at how often a Twitter account retweets, replies or mentions other Twitter users.  The Outreach score is cumulative and always increases, so older accounts are likely to do better. The highest score any Twitter user has ever had is 12, but technically there is no limit to the score.  


Union Name Kred Outreach Score
BDA @BrDieteticAssoc 9
FBU @fbunational 9
NUJ @NUJofficial 9
Society of Radiographers @SCoRMembers 9
Equity @EquityUK 9
BECTU  (Section of Prospect) @bectu 8
NUT (Section of NEU) @NUTonline 8
TSSA @TSSAunion 8
NAHT @NAHTnews 8
UNISON @unisontweets 8
RCM @MidwivesRCM 8
ATL (Section of NEU) @ATLUnion 8
CWU @CWUnews 8
Community @CommunityUnion 8
Musicians’ Union @WeAreTheMU 8
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy @thecsp 8
UCU @ucu 8
PCS @pcs_union 8
BALPA @BALPApilots 7
Prospect @ProspectUnion 7
PFA @pfa 7
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain @TheWritersGuild 7
Unite @unitetheunion 7
GMB @GMB_union 7
Nautilus Intl @nautilusint 7
EIS @EISUnion 6
NAPO @Napo_News 6
USDAW @UsdawUnion 6
RMT @RMTunion 6
Accord @GedNichols 6
FDA @FDA_union 6
Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists @CollegePodiatry 6
AFA CWA @afa_cwa 6
BIOS @followBIOS 5
UCAC @AthrawonCymru 5
NEU @NEUnion 5
Aegis @aegisunionlear 4
NACO @NACOtradeunion 4
HCSA @hcsanews 4
BFAWU @bfawu1 4
NGSU @TimPoil 3
AEP @aepsychologists 3
NARS @NARSnewsinfo 2
POA @POAUnion 1

Source:, November 2018.  

Out of the TUC affiliated union on Twitter, the highest Outreach score was 9. This score was reached by the five most generous union accounts – the BDA, FBU, NUJ, Society of Radiographers and Equity. These unions must have retweeted, replied and mentioned other users the most.

The next tier of unions scores a healthy Outreach of 8. At the other end, the union with the lowest Outreach, with a score of 1, is the POA. They are followed by the new NARS account, which understandably scores a low 2 Outreach points as their account is so new. The small NGSU and AEP unions both score 3 points.

Unite may be consistently the most influential union on Twitter, but they don’t do as well in Outreach, scoring a distinctly mid-table 7 points.

Tim Dawson     December 03

Fascinating table, but what do the Kred scores actually mean? The spread between the unions in the top 10 is less than 10%. Surely this doesn’t mean that a Twitter account with 64k followers (Unite) has scored only slightly more retweets etc than the NUJ, with 29k followers?

James     December 05

Hi Simon, I always look forward to your twitter union metrics. Many thanks for doing the work to compare the accounts.

It is a shame that Klout has now closed. I think it’s clear to see from the 2018 comparison that Kred (based on the dramatic falls and rises for many this year) has impacted on the ability to accurately show trends. I don’t think i’ve ever seen such huge discrepancies between year on year performance!

I wonder if there is a better way to do things now Klout has gone? I don’t have much confidence in Kred given the huge difference in results this year. Is it worth looking at all social media activity, not just twitter?

Simon Parry     December 07

Thanks for the comments. It is a shame that Klout has closed. On paper, Kred uses a similar methodology when measuring influence, but how this is implemented might differ. For example, I think Kred adds more weight to the influence of the Twitter accounts that interact with an account than Klout did.

The biggest change is that it looks at the last 1,000 days, where Klout put much more weight on recent performance. This has led to the biggest swings in position this year. I’ve added a health warning about this to the blog post now to help clarify this.

I’ll review the available metrics again when I do this next, and see if any other tools can be added to the scoring system. It would be great to look at other social media activity as well if I get enough spare time.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Enter the characters shown in the image.