4 things to watch for in the Brussels bubble Twittersphere this year

Brett Kobie

Brussels can feel it and surveys have confirmed it: Twitter has truly come of age in EU policy circles. We’ve now reached a point where it seems strange not use it –either as content creators or silent listeners.

Flip through this quick deck, then come back to read the details.


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1. Video will be everywhere, but only the best will earn eyeballs

Your newsfeed will be flooded with video as users discover the full potential of using Twitter’s native video option. While there may be more video, inevitably only some will be able to get past the 3-second autoplay audition necessary to actually stop thumbs (immediately establishing your relevance to your and saying everything you need to say in 15 seconds or less tends to be a winning combination).

2. More big names with “_EU” handles

More recognizable name brands will embrace the need to have a EU policy focused Twitter handle as they realise that they simply cannot speak to EU policy audiences effectively through the content on their existing corporate channels.  CSR efforts are often worthy of communicating, but they are unlikely to move the needle on policy.

3. The beginning of the end of vanity metrics

As Twitter becomes better integrated into public affairs strategies, the Twitter measurement conversation will finally shift from follower counts, likes and retweets to more meaningful results that tell a cohesive internal story of how the activity helped deliver on policy objectives.

The marketing world made the switch years ago when CEOs started asking the critical question: “how much money does a Facebook like make me?”

4. More nuance in the Brussels bubble social media conversation

Sign up for any Brussels event on “social media” today and you’ll inevitably encounter a broad cross section of people from companies, trade associations, NGOs and the EU institutions.

While these groups have some things in common, such as their use of channels like Twitter for example, their respective audiences and strategies are often worlds apart. The European Commission for example, may consider its objective to be “communicating the EU to 500 million Europeans” while an industry representative’s goal may be to “communicate the finer points of base erosion and profit-shifting to a Brussels bubble audience of 50”.

As the use of social channels matures in Brussels, look for these huge divergences in strategy to yield parallel conversations as the bubble’s “digital community” splits off into smaller groups to compare notes.


FleishmanHillard’s Digital, Social & Creative Team publishes an occasional text-only newsletter FH’s with quick, useful updates. Subscribe here.

Here’s a snippet from the last edition:

  • The team was in Paris at COP21 late last year and our Social Strategist Alex Burchill tested out the FH Social Event Framework with great success. GET THE DETAILS IN HIS POST HERE.
  • We all sat down to trade stories about we we actually mapped out which policymakers interact most with industry on Twitter and why. POLITICO even wrote about it! GET THE MAP HERE.
  • I presented a bunch of concrete tips and tricks to MEP Assistants last week on how to make digital and social work for their MEPs. You might find it useful too. GET IT ON TWITTER HERE.