Indian premier Modi beats White House in Twiplomacy
Geneva, June 29, 2014
India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@NarendraModi) has surpassed US White House account to become the fourth-most followed world leader on Twitter, with 4,981,777 followers, said a study.
Modi, who surpassed the White House account, @WhiteHouse (4,980,207) today, is using Twitter as a power tool to broadcast his messages, according to Twiplomacy, an annual global study of world leaders on Twitter by Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm.
Released today, the study also revealed that more than 83 per cent of all United Nations (UN) governments have a presence on Twitter, and two-thirds (68 per cent) of all heads of state and government have personal Twitter accounts.
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.
“We are proud that, now in its third year, the Burson-Marsteller Twiplomacy study has become a must-read on social media’s growing importance among world leaders,” said Donald A. Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller.
“This year we have seen a 28 per cent rise in Twitter accounts among government users, a dramatic increase in efforts to reach people around the world.”
As of June 25, the five most followed world leaders were US President Barack Obama (@BarackObama) (43 million followers of the US 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, said the study.
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.
Conversely, foreign ministers use Twitter to establish mutual connections, creating a virtual diplomatic network. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (@LaurentFabius) is the best connected foreign minister, mutually connected to 91 peers and world leaders. The European Union External Action Service, @eu_eeas, is second with 71 mutual connections, and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt (@CarlBildt) is third with 68 mutual connections. These mutual connections among foreign ministers allow for private conversations via direct messages on Twitter, it stated.
“This study illustrates that while the number of followers is important, the number of mutual connections is even more important,” remarked Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, MEA and global chief strategy officer.
“It is interesting to see how foreign ministries have created large digital networks on Twitter where not every tweet is approved by lawyers and press officers. Corporations and CEOs can learn a lot from politicians on Twitter, in terms of embracing digital tools for communications and how to connect with peers and influencers,” he added.
More than 3,100 embassies and ambassadors are now active on Twitter: Canada, France, 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.
Barack Obama was the first world leader to sign up to Twitter on 5 March 2007 (at the time as Senator Obama) as user #813,286. Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN), Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo (@ElioDiRupo), Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (@PMHarper) and the US State Department @StateDept are among the early adopters, all having joined later in 2007.
As of 25 June 2014, all world leaders combined have sent 1,935,308 tweets, posting on average four tweets each day. The Venezuelan presidency (@PresidencialVen) has sent close to 50,000 tweets, averaging almost 40 tweets each day, said the study.-TradeArabia News Service