And best central banking twitter of the year goes to…

March 14, 2014

Congratulations to Bank of Spain, which won the best central bank website of the year award given by Central Banking Publications, as the specialist news provider for central bankers hosted its inaugural central banking awards  last night in London. (The flagship Central Banker of the Year award was won by ECB’s Draghi, no surprise there)

Central banks around the world are looking for ways to improve their communication strategies and the website is one area they are focusing on (Quantity is not everything, yet the Bank of Spain’s website features 7,000 pages of information and 24,700 separate files).

But what about social media? Are  policymakers tech-savvy enough for it?

I asked one board member of a central bank in Europe who sat next to me over the awards dinner whether he used Twitter. He said: “No, I think it’s waste of time. I don’t even have a Facebook account.”

He may think twice though. Twitter and other social media are playing an increasing role for many central banks. According to the Central Bank Directory 2014 published by Central Banking Publications, Mexico’s central bank (@Banxico) has the biggest total followers, at 166,000 as of March 14, followed by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors (@federalreserve), which boasted 131,000.

Banque de France (@banquedefrance) sent out the biggest number of tweets to date, at 8,822, followed by St Luis Fed (@stlouisfed) at 7,445. Out of the top 10 tweeters, 6 are from the Federal Reserve.

But it doesn’t mean you should spent all day tweeting. U.S. Fed has the highest followers per tweet — a measure of  efficiency — at 107, compared with the Bank of England’s 27 or Bundesbank’s 26.

But central banks may need to work harder on their efficiencies. U.S. President Barack Obama (@BarackObama) has a followers-per-tweet ratio of 3,716, while Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) has double that at 9,294 and Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) a whopping 14,136.


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