Twiplomacy: Twitter Connects World Leaders

burson marsteller


Burson-Marsteller has revealed its 2013 Twiplomacy Study – an analysis of how world leaders use Twitter.

According to the study, 77,7% of the world leaders have a Twitter account and 68% of them interact with other leaders on the social network.

When it comes to number of followers, there is no surprise that US President @BarackObama is the most followed leader in the world (33,510,157 as of July 1, 2013). Though he is not the best connected, following only two other peers: Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

European leaders are highly connected, as the study reveals. All European governments have a Twitter account and few of leaders tweet personally, such as: Toomas Ilves (@IlvesToomas), President of Estonia and @AlexStubb, Finland’s Minister for European Affairs. Swedish Foreign Minister @CarlBildt is the best connected world leader, mutually following 44 peers.

Pope Francis (@Pontifex) is Europe’s most followed leader on Twitter with 7,200,332 followers on his nine different accounts.

In Africa, 71% of African leaders are on Twitter. The tweets of Ugandan Prime Minister @AmamaMbabazi, Rwanda’s President @PaulKagame and Rwanda’s Foreign Minister @LMushikiwabo are almost exclusively @replies to their followers.

Three-quarters of Asian governments are active on Twitter. Many governments use Twitter as a news feed, automatically tweeting updates from their official websites or Facebook pages.

Oceania: Governments in Oceania use Twitter the least of all world leaders. Only a third of the 13 countries and island states in the Pacific has a presence on Twitter.

Latin America: Twitter is very popular among Latin American politicians who often tweet personally. All South American countries except Suriname have a Twitter presence. Most presidents have personal Twitter accounts, often with over a million followers and they frequently communicate with each other on Twitter.

Twitter has become a formidable broadcast tool for three quarters of world leaders.

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