CIPR Northern Ireland PR Consultancy of the Year LK Communications launches social media Influencer Barometer series

CIPR Northern Ireland PR Consultancy of the Year LK Communications, has unveiled details of the region’s Top 100 Twitter account holders for 2023 in the first of a series of reports on the development and reach of social media platforms in the region.

Published exclusively in the Belfast Telegraph, the Top 100 Twitter list reveals a stark gender divide, with male-owned accounts leading women by a factor of three to one.

A vital source for news, sport, politics and comment – and everything else – Northern Ireland’s sporting legends lead the way in a list that confirmed that golfing great Rory McIlroy topped the poll at number one with over three million followers, trailing second-place broadcaster Eamonn Holmes with just over 1.1 million, ahead of third-place golfer Graeme McDowell with over 683,000 fans on Twitter.

Using data provided by Twitonomy, a leading social media analysis tool and extensive research, the Top 10 list also included golfer Darren Clarke, boxer Carl Frampton and horseracing legend Sir AP McCoy.

Only two women – Christine Lampard and infrequent tweeter Nadine Coyle – featured in the Top 10. Derry-born Glee actor Damian McGinty was the most prominent Maiden City entrant at number six.

BBC broadcaster Stephen Nolan was the first media and news personality to appear on the Top 100 list at number 10.

Nikki Larkin, Managing Director at LK Communications, said:

“Already 17 years old, Twitter has made a big impact in the global struggle for online influence and Northern Ireland has its fair share of influence, particularly in sport and entertainment.

“Though it has its flaws, and its long-term future under new leadership appears uncertain, Twitter still packs a punch, delivers and creates news, buzz and often controversy. In 2023, Twitter remains a powerful tool to engage online, to create awareness, debate and impact.

“Other fast-emerging platforms, including Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn are already eating into Twitter’s market share, and we look forward to revealing new insights and analysis for these important social media channels later this year.”

Politicians remain popular on Twitter, with Gerry Adams taking the top spot ranked at 15 on the top 100 as the most followed political figure with 207,288 followers, ahead of Baroness Kate Hoey at number two and Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill at number three.

Former Sinn Fein president Adams is known for his cutting humour on the website, with several of his recent tweets having gained viral success. He also routinely retweets Sinn Fein press material, including recent campaign videos from his party’s vice president Michelle O’Neill.

In the world of media, TV and radio broadcasters lead with Eamonn Holmes, Christine Lampard, Stephen Nolan and Colin Murray ahead of sports pundit Joe Brolly, RTE’s Tony Connelly, BBC weather presenter Barra Best and Belfast Telegraph correspondents Sam McBride and Alison Morris.

In business, former BBC Apprentice winner Dr Leah Totton is way out in front with around 116,000 followers.

To request a copy of the full report, email