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Cities4Climate: The Power of Influencer Engagement

by | Jan 26, 2017 | Influencer Lists, ,

As many are aware, momentum for climate action has recently shifted to a more local level. That’s why the team at Onalytica and I chose to zero in on the power and potential of Twitter influencer engagement around the #Cities4Climate tag. It is no surprise that the global C40Cities organization has lead the charge and built upon the broader conversation.  And, just past the reality check of November’s U.S. election, that organization’s December 2016 conference generated a flurry of Twitter activity.

Now that it seems likely the U.S. government will not follow through on their piece of the Paris Agreement, many of our cities’ Mayors, Chief Sustainability Officers and Chief Resilience Officers are heeding the call. Both in the U.S. and globally I’d argue, Twitter has the potential to be seen as a key tool. As we witnessed during COP21, tweets from key individuals (@Cfigueres, @PaulPolman) and key brands (@UNFCCC, @CDP ) raised a digital roar that influenced real-life connections and sparked conversations for the greater good.

The potential for the #Cities4Climate hashtag to have a similar congregating, supporting and amplifying effect could be exponential. Let’s take a look at who is already involved and where the opportunities lie.

Mapping the Community

In order to identify the social influencers and brands we started by extracting over 25Ktweets tweets from 1st November – 1st December 2016 mentioning the key words: #Cities4Climate and #C40Cities. We then added these tweets and accounts into our database, categorized and curated a top 100 list of influencers and brands ranked on a combination of the 4 R’s (Resonance, Relevance, Reach and Reference). These accounts were then added into Onalytica’s Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM).
This network map shows the number 1 influencer Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris at the center, and all the #Cities4Climate and #C40Cities conversations to the influencers in her field. It’s interesting to note the thicker line between Anne Hidalgo and C40Cities showing a stronger relationship and more communication between these 2 accounts:

Onalytica - Cities4Climate. C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Network Map Anne Hidalgo
Here is another network map created with IRM showing the number 1 brand C40Cities at the center:
Onalytica - Cities4Climate. C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Network Map C40 Cities

Building Momentum

The power of a hashtag can be leveraged far beyond events or specific campaigns, which is an opportunity not yet well utilised. For example, while #climateaction built momentum around COP21 and maintained some conversation, the real substance and place for engaged influencers to gather has since built around the more specific tags. Great information and new city influencers are not only for climate action during conferences like @C40cities or @compactofmayors events. Big events help #climate4cities influencers discover one another and “start” conversations, but then the energy seems to be lost. Climate action can no longer allow for that fade in interest.

Another point worth noting, the influential organizations in the climate action space are fairly obvious, and so easy to find and follow (which is a great thing). However, the power from here may be in the individual authentic engagement of key #cities4climate leaders. People like Matt Petersen, the Chief Sustainability Officer of Los Angeles, Stephanie Stuckey , the Chief Resilience Officer of Atlanta and Daniel Zarrilli, New York City’s Chief Resilience Officer are already leveraging their influence for positive, climate impact.

The more a thriving Twitter ecosystem of organizations and individuals exists to “love up” and support one another’s progress in this cause, the better. Now more than ever – and again with perhaps a bit of extra emphasis on the U.S. – amplifying the entire conversation reflects the strength of the climate action cause. Building solidarity between real-time climate action events or marches will help keep us energized.

Onalytica - Cities4Climate. C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Cities4Climate, C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Topic Share of VoiceOnalytica - Cities4Climate. C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Cities4Climate, C40Cities The Power of Influencer Engagement - Gender Split

Insights You Can Use Today

Three, of the many things I’ve noticed in the data (feel free to add what most interests you in the comments below):

  • Influencer gender is quite balanced: The fact that women are already almost half of this individual influencer mix points to the extra potential of #women4climate in the #cities4climate work. As someone focused on women and the leadership potential in climate action overall, I’ll be doing more study and can keep you posted.  Keep an eye out for a future blog post by Onalytica and I that looks a bit more deeply into the #women4climate tag.
  • Good hashtags don’t have to lose impact past the event: There is great between-event opportunity for those who continue to contribute to a particular discussion tag. Those who choose to can take the lead and be very visible, while amplifying all the wisdom and information that many others may not know to tag. The work they put in (which can be fairly minor) to maintaining the tag in “quiet” times earns them greater influence when the next event comes around, for one thing.
  • Twitter influencers hold significant power in which stories get told and shared: Despite recent evidence to the contrary, I am one who still believes that Twitter can be an incredible way to build a platform and leverage it for good. If you are a leading off-line voice in climate action, your story may not yet be reaching the broad digital audience that awaits. You are writing articles, speaking at events and doing all sorts of traditional, off-line, connecting and amplifying, so why not take it one step further for even greater climate action impact?

How This #Cities4Climate Influencer Information Matters

Given these lists and graphs on #cities4climate influencers, how might this activate more individuals and organizations?  First, realize that simply being on the list means nothing, if you don’t use that influence for furthering the topic of your “influence” – climate action.

Now is the time to add intention! If you ARE on the list, study the information and better understand how you or your organization can improve. Otherwise, commit – and do that now – to join and further the #cities4climate action-supporting information sharing. Find the individuals and organizations that curate the best, most motivating, links or wisdom and share. Post your own city’s content to add to the collective information bank and grow the social capital of #Cities4Climate.

The #Cities4Climate Call To Action:

Cities focusing on climate action today must use all the tools and connections they can possibly identify to forward their missions. Don’t get stuck thinking Twitter is only a one-way digital broadcasting medium. For this particularly critical cause, the data certainly hints at much more strategic potential than that.

For more insight on #cities4climate and a great discussion with Andrea Learned and Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (CRO for Atlanta), check out our podcast.

About the Author

Andrea Learned

Andrea Learned is a climate action-focused writer and strategic communications consultant helping business and nonprofit influencers develop authentic, high impact, leadership platforms. Andrea’s expertise in understanding the women’s market (she co-authored Don’t Think Pink, which published in 2004 ) lends her writing work – for HuffingtonPost , her own blog, and many other publications – deep insight into the potential for women, especially, in sustainability leadership roles today.


Below is a list of the top 50 influencers talking about #Cities4Climate and #C40Cities on Twitter. If you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the full report by clicking the download button below!

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RankTwitter HandleNameCompanyInfluencer Score
1@Anne_HidalgoAnne HidalgoSocialist Party100
2@MayorOfLAMayor of Los AngelesDemocratic Party52.03
3@MikeBloombergMike BloombergBloomberg L.P47.97
4@dzarrilliDaniel A. ZarrilliNYC Office of the Mayor38.10
5@MayorofLondonMayor of LondonLabour Party34.18
6@marty_walshMayor Marty WalshDemocratic Party32.64
7@eduardopaes_Eduardo PaesGreen Party30.05
8@MarkWatts40Mark WattsC40 Cities29.89
9@SadiqKhanSadiq KhanLabour Party25.07
10@CloverMooreClover MooreIndependent Politician24.09
11@CharlieHalesPDXMayor Charlie HalesDemocratic Party21.74
12@NYCMayorBill de BlasioDemocratic Party19.73
13@AndreaLearnedAndrea Learnedlearnedon.com18.58
14@MayorBowserMayor Muriel BowserDemocratic Party16.54
15@PatriciaDeLillePatricia de LilleDemocratic Alliance15.19
16@CFigueresChristiana FigueresUNFCCC14.53
17@KajEmbrenKaj EmbrénSouth Pole Group13.19
18@PEspinosaCPatricia Espinosa C.National Action Party12.16
19@PKlugmanPatrick KlugmanCouncil of Paris12.14
20@anthawilliamsAntha N. WilliamsBloomberg Philanthropies10.90
21@HerveMarroHervé MarroC40 Cities10.51
22@JohnToryJohn ToryIndependent Politician10.47
23@mayoredleeMayor Ed LeeDemocratic Party10.29
24@austinfblackmonAustin BlackmonCity of Boston10.17
25@LaurenceTubianaLaurence TubianaIDDRI10.04
26@UN_PGAUN GA PresidentUN9.81
27@TommyWellsTommy WellsDemocratic Party9.62
28@DenisCoderreDenisCoderreLiberal Party of Canada9.45
29@Brendan_C40Brendan ShaneC40 Cities9.41
30@ShelleyPotichaShelley PotichaNRDC9.31
31@Jose_HarrisJosh HarrisC40 Cities9.15
32@ChicagosMayorChicagosMayorDemocratic Party9.00
33@sethschultzSeth SchultzC40 Cities8.93
34@topnigelNigel ToppingWe Mean Business8.64
35@LeoDiCaprioLeonardo DiCaprioLeonardo DiCaprio Foundation8.51
36@ICLEI_advocacyYunus ArikanICLEI8.39
37@KaminisGGeorge KaminisIndependent Politician8.35
38@HakimaElHaiteHakima El HaitéPopular Movement Party8.32
39@mattspeteMatt PetersenCity of Los Angeles8.22
40@sudhvirSudhvir SinghEAT Forum8.16
41@MayorEdMurrayEd MurrayDemocratic Party8.10
42@Celia_BlauelCélia BlauelEau de Paris, Mairie de Paris8.07
43@CarlosMorenoFrCarlos MORENOCity Council of Paris7.97
44@AvecAnneAvecAnneCity Council of Paris7.87
45@HMolinValdesHelena Molin ValdesUNEP7.68
46@UN_SpokespersonUN SpokespersonSocialist Party7.55
47@MayorAdlerMayor AdlerDemocratic Party7.48
48@SustainableAklJohn MauroAuckland Council7.43
49@makowerJoel MakowerGreenBiz Group Inc7.41
50@MCLemardeleyMC LemardeleyCity Council of Paris7.39



Here is a list of the top 50 brands talking about #Cities4Climate and #C40Cities on Twitter. If you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the report to get the full top 100 list!

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RankTwitter HandleNameInfluencer Score
1@c40citiesC40 Cities100
2@CompactofMayorsCompact of Mayors75.27
4@UNFCCCUN Climate Action58.97
5@WorldBankWorld Bank57.78
7@100ResCities100 Resilient Cities50.16
10@Cities_TodayCities Today43.35
13@DOEE_DCDC Energy & Env.35.70
16@TheWorldPostThe WorldPost32.49
17@UNEPUN Environment30.34
18@FordFoundationFord Foundation29.89
22@WBG_CitiesWorld Bank Cities27.66
23@GreenovateBosGreenovate Boston27.59
26@ForeignPolicyForeign Policy25.23
27@UNUnited Nations25.19
28@ClimateGroupThe Climate Group25.16
30@EATforumEAT Forum24.84
32@WBG_ClimateWorld Bank Climate24.21
33@cityofsydneyCity of Sydney22.46
36@SFEnvironmentSF Environment21.50
37@WorldResourcesWorld Resources Inst21.48
38@nycgovCity of New York20.38
42@NRDCSolutionsNRDC Urban Solutions20.04
43@FAOnewsFAO Newsroom19.38
44@CitiesAllianceCities Alliance19.36
47@IWAHQIWA Network18.46
48@SierraClubSierra Club17.39
49@WRIClimateWRI Climate17.38


Effective influencer marketing starts with identifying relevant influencers for your brand. Onalytica’s new Discovery platform mines over 200 billion posts a year into a curated database of over 150K global social media influencers, including data from Twitter, Blogs, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn Profile Links + Demographic Data. These influencers are then ranked by Reach, Resonance, Relevance and Reference.


Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The brands and individuals listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion around Cities4Climate and C40Cities.

The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives. These calculations also take into account a user’s resonance (engagement), relevance (number of tweets on topic) and reach (number of followers). If you want to learn more, please read our article that outlines influencer identification.





Download this free report which reveals the top influencers and brands talking about Cities4Climate and C40Cities