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Cost of living's place in the national conversation

By Tom Flynn
06 December 2022

By Tom Flynn & David Linnett

We conducted an analysis of four topics of conversation on Twitter over a one-month period, looking at what was being discussed, shared – and what was appearing alongside it.

The conversation is, as you’d expect, vast across the board: the cost of living crisis generally, warm banks (or ‘warm places’), food banks and the fuel crisis. And what we’re seeing is a significant trend across all.

The hashtag #GeneralElectionNow is being heavily used across every topic, with the majority of other hashtags on relevant topics also mentioning the Conservative government in a negative way. That doesn’t necessarily mean only good things for Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour: the most shared link by far when it comes to the cost of living crisis over that period, is a link to the 2019 General Election manifesto from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.

What’s also cutting through clearly is brands’ work to support their communities throughout the cost of living crisis. News stories that see the likes of Celtic Foundation, the football club’s charity arm, donating money to help people with groceries and fuel, are receiving high levels of positive engagement, reflecting the goodwill generated by these gestures. Contrast that with the government’s support, including its various schemes to support citizens with their energy bills, and it’s striking.

Of course, the Twitter picture is often the most vocal and not frequently the most representative. But what it does show is how closely associated the government is to the worst of the cost of living crisis – and how brands that are actively intervening are seeing their engagement amplified much further.

Cost of living
Cost of living

To read our full analysis of the reputational risks of the cost of living crisis, click here.