EUROPEAN ASSOCIATIONS DIGITAL REPORT
A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the social media channels of Brussels-based industry associations.
To provide insights on how European industry associations are communicating in the digital era and identify digital champions and best practices.
Monitor more than 570 EU trade associations and top 30 accounts to identify innovative practices and emerging trends.
10 DIGITAL TRENDS.
The trends below are presented in no particular order.
The “green wave” reached the EU associations as they stepped up communication around the EU Green Deal. We look at the industries and associations that are at the forefront of climate communications.
FACTS & FIGURES.
In 2015, 42% of European associations had no social media accounts at all. Five years later, 19% are still without a social media presence.
MOST USED PLATFORMS
Twitter remains the most used platform by European associations at 69%. However, the gap has narrowed sharply, with LinkedIn registering record 9% growth since 2018, bringing it up to 68% of EU associations with an official LinkedIn page.
YouTube registered the same 9% growth rate, with the percentage of associations with a YouTube account doubling between 2015 and 2020. A clear sign that video content has gained momentum in the EU bubble.
On LinkedIn, WindEurope has risen remarkably since 2018 from fifth spot to number one and is now the only organisation inching close to 43,000 followers.
It is worth mentioning that the median number of followers on LinkedIn is 598 and 1,054 for Twitter.
On Facebook, CropLife Europe is a clear frontrunner with around 90,000 followers. Interestingly, a number of European associations have set up specific Facebook pages such as Visit Europe by the European Travel Commission that reaches close to 140,000 followers. On Instagram the European Broadcasting Union leads with over 5,800 followers.
Since 2015, there has been a steady average of around 2,000 new videos per year, now reaching well over 12,500 videos published.
Facebook, once in the Top 3, is now lagging behind as growth has been stagnating since 2018.
Despite a rise in the use of Instagram among EU associations, the visual platform has seen growth of just 6% since 2015. Currently, only 6% use Instagram for official business.
On Twitter, over the last two years, WindEurope has maintained its position as the association with most followers, still followed very closely by Invest Europe.
Invest Europe is an outlier with more than 42,000 followers, whereas the median number for a European association is 1,054.
SECTORS PER PLATFORM
Interestingly enough, certain sectors seem to perform significantly better on some platforms in terms of their audience size. On Twitter and LinkedIn, the energy sector represents roughly 21% of the whole pool of followers of all EU associations combined.
However, on Facebook, 20% of the audience goes to construction and manufacturing. As for Instagram, the lion’s share of the audience (41%) goes to the health and wellbeing.
BEST IN CLASS 2020
Here is a non-exhaustive overview of European associations that are, in varying degrees, leading the way on digital communications. Recognising the important role of social media, each of these organisations is bringing innovative thinking and a fresh approach to digital communications and EU advocacy.
WHAT ASSOCIATIONS SAY
“Cambre’s European Associations Report is a must-read for public affairs professionals and I am therefore delighted and proud to see Cefic’s team recognised as top performers in both climate communications and leadership categories.
Truly effective climate communications and true leadership go hand in hand. It is therefore only right that Cefic and our industry’s leaders stepped up early to support the EU Green Deal. We want to talk about how chemistry, innovation and good business can give the Green Deal wheels. But we also recognise the true art of conversation lies in listening. This becomes crucial during times of crisis and it is why Cefic’s communications strategy is increasingly data insight-driven.
We strive to understand what matters to our audiences and make it our starting point – in today’s public affairs this is the only way towards true digital dialogue.”
— Noor Yafai, Executive Director Public Affairs and Sustainability
OUR DIGITAL OFFER
Our approach is simple: listen, strategise, execute, measure, analyse and evolve. We develop smart data-driven digital strategies to turn complex issues into compelling campaigns that shape opinions, drive advocacy and earn influence.