Welcome to the social media machine.

In the past couple of years, the World Economic Forum’s social media operation has come into its own. A decade or so ago, sharing what was going on at the WEF’s meetings was verboten, but opposition to using social media as a communication tool at Davos has changed in a big way.

The WEF now has a social media desk of two people who search for what is being widely shared or what is provoking discussion online. They then repost or repackage it to reach the broader audience. During the Annual Meeting, the WEF will also have people live-tweeting and adding original social media posts targeted toward its followers on social media platforms.

And there are many. At last count, the WEF Facebook page had 913,000 followers. The organisation’s two Twitter accounts are well followed, with @wef having 2.76 million followers and @davos with 414,000 followers. The team posts to @wef about 70 times a day and will continue at that pace throughout the annual meeting in Davos. The @davos account will also serve as the WEF’s live tweeting channel, and organisers say its social media staff will be live tweeting up to two sessions simultaneously at any point during the day.

Regular posts will also be made on other platforms to reach the WEF’s 100,000 followers on Weibo, 118,000 followers on LinkedIn, as well as followers of its Instagram and new Snapchat account. 

These outreach efforts are all intended to use social media power to amplify the conversations at Davos, explains Mike Hanley, WEF’s Head of Digital Communications.

“It helps us emphasise the importance and complexity of the issues that our participants are discussing, it helps us make those issues understandable, and it helps us bring the voice of the general public into our proceedings,” he said.

Davos attendees, though, will be losing out on something that many have become rather enamoured with.  For the last couple of years, the big screen in the middle of the Congress Hall where the annual meeting is held showed which participants had the most influence on Twitter. This year, that’s changing. There will still be a big screen in the central lounge streaming social media data pulled from Facebook and Twitter, but it won’t be the central screen and the best connected listing is going away.

So how can you join the conversation going on at Davos?


The official hashtag for this year’s meeting is #wef16 and people often use #wef or #Davos for their tweets as well.

The World Economic Forum will be tweeting via their feed @wef  and live tweeting the meeting sessions via @davos.

There will also be highlights and live tweeting in Spanish @wef_es, Japanese @wef_jp and in Chinese via Weibo and WeChat.


The WEF has set up Twitter lists to follow, including a list of all the participants active on Twitter.

I’ll be Tweeting from Davos, sharing personal observations, photos and my BBC dispatches. I’m @lucymarcus. You can also follow my coverage from Davos via @BBC_Capital.

Topic Hashtags:

You can use these hashtags to follow particular topics on Twitter:

Agriculture and food security — #foodsecurity

Environment and resource security — #climateaction

Future of the internet — #futureweb

Infrastructure, long-term investing and development — #futureinvest

Employment, skills and human capital — #newjobs

International trade and investment — #globaltrade

Gender parity — #gendergap

Global crime & anticorruption — #globalcrime

Future of the global financial system — #futurefinance

Economic growth & social inclusion — #equalgrowth

Health-related — #globalhealth


The WEF has an active Facebook presence, as well as a Spanish Facebook page.

You can follow my dispatches on Facebook, where I’ll also be uploading Instagram images and video snippets, and follow BBC Capital on Facebook as well.

Other outlets:

The WEF will be live-streaming some of its sessions.

The WEF also has a presence on Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat at weforum.

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