Our friends in the north: Lissted on the North East's most influential UK-wide

Our friends in the north: Lissted on the North East's most influential UK-wide


Adam Parker Influence within a community and outside a community spotlights the challenge of mapping networks and influencers on Twitter.

In a follow up to his post last week analysing the North East Twitter community, Lissted's Adam Parker now looks at the North East Twitter users who matter most to the rest of the UK.

By Adam Parker

My guest post last week about the Top 250 Twitter accounts in the North East Community generated a lot of interest and debate. Some of this discussion was around people and organisations who weren’t included.

Last week’s list was seeking to home in on those with what we might call, provincial influence. The North East related people and organisations who appear to matter most to the other members of the North East Twitter community.

The absent accounts people raised questions about, were generally those who have greater significance outside the North East; across the rest of the UK and even further afield in some cases.

To demonstrate this I’ve put together another list.

North East Twitterati with the most significance in the rest of the UK

This time I used Lissted to analyse the relationships of over 250,000 of the top UK Twitter accounts from outside the North East of England. I specifically excluded the accounts that were used to build the previous list.

I then produced a list of the Top 250 accounts that were North East related from within the results (opens in a new window). Check the data for yourself.

If anyone’s interested the top account overall was @BBCBreakingNews (not that surprising).

Also based on feedback, I’ve excluded North East celebrities who don’t live in the North East from the rankings, though they are shown in the list for completeness.

Twitter data isn’t great when it comes to location so if I’ve missed anyone obvious, please let me know.

Striking difference in membership underlines relationship of relevance to influence

Comparing the two lists we can see that they are very different in their membership.

  • Only 76 members of the first regional North East community Top 250 appear.
  • Only 14 accounts appear in the Top 100 of both lists (see table below, accounts marked in red on spreadsheet).
  • None of the Top 10 were in the first North East community list.
  • More than twice as many accounts (147 compared to 65) relate to people rather than Organisations, the Media or Twitter networking & promotion.
  • If you exclude Smallbiz accounts this difference is even more acute with 135 people in the national list versus 43 in the regional one – more than 3 times as many.
  • The only Media account in the top 20 is Viz!, which perhaps requires stretching the definition of “media”; though given some of what appears in certain national outlets that will not be named, I’m not so sure. Looking at more serious outlets the top accounts are both football related – FCBusiness (25th) and The Blizzard (26th).
  • The Chronicle and Journal, ranked first and second in the North East community list, are ranked 77th and 104th. This makes sense as clearly their news has significantly less relevance outside the region.

Accounts that appear in the Top 100 of both lists

Top 100 NE in both lists

Brands go national

The top ranked organisations in the regional community list were mostly ones that were provincial in reach. This time we get national brands such as Greggs, Barbour and Great Run appearing and our only quoted Plc, Sage, rises into the top 50.

It’s very interesting to note which organisations have both provincial and national relevance. Both the Tyne and Wear football clubs appear which you’d expect, but the Baltic, Sage Gateshead, Seven Stories and Northern Stage are among those who punch their weight at a national level.

The exceptions in the regional list, are the rule in the national one

In my previous post I talked about why certain groups of people that you might expect to find were missing. I highlighted footballers and Geordie Shore cast members specifically. I could have mentioned politicians as well, as only two (Chi Onwurah and Nick Forbes) made it onto the regional list.

This time the results are very different. The table below shows a breakdown of the list membership.

Top 250 NE rest of UK

  • 28 Politicians, reflecting their influence on national politics. Top ranked is the cross bench peer Tanni Grey-Thompson.
  • 7 Geordie Shore cast members. Top ranked is Charlotte Crosby (10th) which is consistent with my comment in the last post about most of her followers being from outside the NE.
  • 17 Sports people are included. The two biggest groups being nine current, or ex, footballers and four cricketers. Top ranked though is the world record holder in the triple jump, Jonathan Edwards.

This greater emphasis on “celebrity” accounts is confirmed by the proportion of selective accounts (shaded blue in spreadsheet). Selective accounts being those whose follower to following ratio suggests they are more choosy about who they follow. The fact that they’ve generated relevant followers without the need to follow people back often demonstrates a degree of “celebrity”

Two thirds of this national list are selective accounts, whereas less than half of the regional community list were.

This is without factoring in the celebrity accounts that I’ve excluded this time because they don’t live in the region. You will see from the spreadsheet that a six of these accounts would rank in the top 10 if they had been.


The stark difference between the two analyses underlines the importance of relevance when trying to ascertain who could be influential in a given situation.

Geography is only one potential element to consider. Others such as industry, interests, profession or demographics can equally apply.

Applying simplistic noise based metrics just won’t cut it if you want to gain an understanding of who really matters.

If you fancy trying out Lissted for yourself point your browser in this direction for a trial.

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