Scotland’s most popular Twitter profiles

DJ Calvin Harris is the most popular Scot on Twitter.

DJ Calvin Harris is the most popular Scot on Twitter.

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AS the micro-blogging site marks its tenth anniversary today, we look at some of the most influential Scots on the social network.

It’s the social networking website favoured by politicians, actors, musicians and other high-profile individuals around the world. 
While Facebook has more registered users, Twitter enjoys incredible influence as it allows members to post short messages or share links directly with all other users in the world.


The Scotsman has examined some of the most best-known active Twitter accounts in Scotland and ranked them in popularity in four categories: politics, sport, business and entertainment.


While by no means definitive, the list provides an insight into some of the most prolific - and sometimes controversial - tweeters in the country.


READ MORE: Twitter marks 10th anniversary amid uncertainty over future

POLITICS

Michelle Mone invested into the House of Lords as Baroness Mone of Mayfair. Picture: PA

Michelle Mone invested into the House of Lords as Baroness Mone of Mayfair. Picture: PA

Nicola Sturgeon (287,000 followers)

The First Minister of Scotland famously runs her personal Twitter account herself and is well-known for engaging with members of the public. Whether engaging in light-hearted banter about tennis with her political rivals, or retweeting some of the many selfie pictures she is asked for, there are few other high-profile politicians who have mastered social media with such apparent ease.

Alex Salmond (201,000)

The former SNP leader is not as adept at Twitter as his successor, but has displayed an increasing interest in social media in recent years. While posting the usual politician’s mixture of congratulatory messages to sports teams and pictures from parliament, Salmond is perhaps best known on twitter as the subject of a spoof account. Angry Salmond - the real identity of whom remains unknown - is the self-proclaimed sultan of ‘sexy socialism’.

Sam Heughan said it is an "exciting time" for Scotland. Picture: John Devlin

Sam Heughan said it is an "exciting time" for Scotland. Picture: John Devlin

John Swinney (36,300)

Deputy First Minister Swinney is left somewhat in the online shade by his better known colleagues, but has quietly built himself a significant online following. The MSP for Perthshire North is known for promoting local businesses and easily breaking down sometimes complex policy matters into fewer than 140 characters.

Ruth Davidson (35,200)

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives enjoyed a career as a BBC radio journalist before entering the world of politics so it’s no surprise that she’s a natural when it comes to another form of media. Whether skilfully skewering some of twitter’s more unpleasant users or sharing some of her famous photo opportunities, Davidson is a popular commentator across the UK.

Kezia Dugdale (25,200)

Senior Scottish Labour figures were slower to embrace twitter than other parties, but new leader Dugdale has been posting since the platform’s early days and before her election to parliament. Enjoys occasional light-hearted online rivalry with her Self-supporting dad Jeff.

SPORT

Andy Murray (3.53 million)

Murray enjoys a higher global profile than any other Scottish athlete which is reflected in the millions that read his tweets. Ranked number three in the world, the two-time Grand Slam winner joined the social networking website in 2008 and famously posted a message supportive of the Yes campaign on the day of the Scottish independence campaign last year.

Kris Commons (166,000)

Professional footballers in general have a love-hate relationship with Twitter, but Celtic midfielder Commons is a benign online presence. He acknowledges the continued support he receives from fans of the Glasgow giants, as well as pictures of his young family enjoying days out around the country and at Celtic Park. His teammate Scott Brown has more followers - but has not posted a message this year.

Judy Murray (162,000)

Mum, coach and lifelong supporter of Andy, Judy Murray has also done more than any other individual to promote grass roots tennis in Scotland. The 57-year-old is frequently seen cheering on Andy and Jamie from the stands at major tournaments, but spends even time travelling schools and clubs to encourage more children to take up the game and get active.

Graham Spiers (76,600)

The sports writer and broadcaster is known for his insight into the sometimes murky waters of Scottish football. A boyhood Rangers fan, he became one of club’s most prominent critics in the years leading up to its eventual administration. Spiers, a freelance journalist, ended his association with The Herald in January following a complaint from Rangers over a blogpost. He continues to write for The Times.

Colin Montgomerie (50,300)

Montie, as he is known to all, has won more European Tour events than any other British golfer. Inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013, the 52-year-old enjoys posting pictures from the numerous championship courses at which he is competing.

BUSINESS

Lady Michelle Mone (1.05 million)

The co-founder of the Ultimo underwear brand elocated to London last year and was awarded a peerage by Prime Minister David Cameron. The Glaswegian entrepreneur is not afraid to voice her opinions on a wide range of issues, and enjoys a substantial online following.

Duncan Bannatyne (775,000)

The Clydebank native built his fortune from a diverse range of interests including leisure centres, nursing homes and hotels. He is well-known as one of the judges on the long-running BBC show Dragon’s Den, where he is known for his plain speaking and probing questions.

Pete Cashmore (68,800)

The tech entrepreneur grew up in the Aberdeenshire town of Banchory and founded the online blog platform Mashable at the age of 19 in 2005. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2012 and was an early enthusiast of twitter.

James Watt (36,000)

Aberdeenshire-based BrewDog is perhaps the best known example of the craft beer revolution that has swept the UK, one of the dozens of new breweries that have opened in the last decade. Co-founder Watt is the public face of the company and is a regular interviewee in both print and television - when not regularly tweeting.

Stacey Duguid (33,200)

The editor-at-large of Elle magazine, Duguid has enjoyed a long and successful career in the fashion industry after first starting out on the shop floor of Harvey Nichols. Now a respected fashion commentator, she is currently working on her first novel.

ENTERTAINMENT

Calvin Harris (7.13 million)

From recording demos in his Dumfires bedroom to becoming the highest-paid DJ in the world, Harris has enjoyed spectacular international success following the release of his third album 18 Months. No stranger to the top of the charts, Harris is a frequent tweeter and is not afraid to post pictures of his pre-fame self for his fans’ amusement.

J.K. Rowling (7.01 million)

The author of the Harry Potter series and a prominent philanthropist, Rowling is a prolific Twitter user.

The writer made headlines during the 2014 referendum campaign for supporting Better Together and the online abuse she received as a result. She is known to answer questions via Twitter from some of the millions of Potter fans around the world.

In January the author made the headlines when she was involved in a Twitter row with Glasgow East MP, Natalie McGarry.

Frankie Boyle (2.09 million)

The acerbic stand-up comedian is a master at delivering a withering put-down in fewer than 140 characters. Many have tried to get one over the Glaswegian on Twitter, all have failed.

Paolo Nutini (340,000)

The popularity of the singer-songwriter from Paisley continues to grow. His most recent album, Caustic Love, received his best reviews to date and debuted at number one. His Twitter account frequently reveals backstage pictures from many of his sold-out shows.

Sam Heughan (216,000)



As a star of the global smash-hit TV series Outlander, Sam Heughan commands a loyal Twitter of over 200,00. In an interview with The Scotsman this year, the Dumfries and Galloway-born actor shared how he made the journey from youth theatre to global stardom.

Limmy (188,000)

Comedian, entertainer and coder, Brian Limond has mastered the power of social media like few others - racking up an incredible 34,000 tweets in the process. When not posting hundreds of original short sketches via Vine or YouTube, Limmy can be found passing comment on all manner of issues. As the man himself will tell you, check out Daft Punk’s Get Lucky if you have the chance. It’s the sound of the summer.

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