According to Twiplomacy, an annual global study of world leaders on Twitter by Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, which was released today, India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@NarendraModi) has become the fourth-most followed world leader on Twitter, with 4,981,777 followers. He has surpassed the United States White House account, @WhiteHouse (4,980,207) today and is using effectively Twitter as a power tool to broadcast his messages.
Twiplomacy aims to identify the extent to which world leaders use Twitter and how they connect on the social network. In early June 2014, Burson-Marsteller analyzed 643 government accounts in 161 countries. Only 32 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia-Pacific, do not have any Twitter presence.
The study has further revealed that as of 25 June 2014, the five most followed world leaders were U.S. President Barack Obama (@BarackObama) (43 million followers of the U.S. president’s campaign account), Pope Francis (@Pontifex) with 14 million followers on his nine different language accounts, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (@SBYudhoyono) (5 million followers), @NarendraModi and the @WhiteHouse. However, the most followed world leaders follow few other peers, and they are hardly conversational. @BarackObama and the @WhiteHouse only follow three other world leaders, namely Norway’s Erna Solberg, Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev and the UK government.
The annual Twitter study also has found that foreign ministers use Twitter to establish mutual connections, creating a virtual diplomatic network. More than 3,100 embassies and ambassadors are now active on Twitter: Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK and the U.S. have put most of their embassies and missions on Twitter. The UK Foreign Office in London also encourages personal engagement by its ambassadors, and it is virtually impossible to become a Foreign Office diplomat without using digital tools.
The other key findings of the study are :
- All but one of the G20 governments have an official Twitter presence, and six of the G7 leaders have a personal Twitter account.
- Barack Obama was the first world leader to sign up to Twitter on 5 March 2007.
- As of 25 June 2014, all world leaders combined have sent 1,935,308 tweets, posting on average four tweets each day.
- The Mexican presidency (@PresidenciaMX) is the most prolific, posting on average 78 tweets each day.
- Quite a few politicians use Twitter only during election campaigns.