Twiplomacy: The Best connected World Leaders on TwitterBy Matthias Lüfkens
Twiplomacy is the leading global study of world leaders on Twitter. The governments of more than three-quarters (77.7%) of the 193 UN member countries have a presence on Twitter: Almost half of the 505 accounts analysed are personal accounts of heads of state, heads of government and ministers of foreign affairs; a third of these world leaders tweet themselves, but very few on a regular basis.
This study shows that Twitter has become a formidable communication tool allowing the broadcast of short messages to millions of followers. At the same time the social network invites direct interaction between users and two-thirds (68%) of world leaders have made mutual connections with their peers.
A quarter of world leaders and governments unilaterally follow President Barack Obama and the White House, but @BarackObama and the @WhiteHouse have established mutual Twitter relations with only four other world leaders.
Swedish Foreign Minister @CarlBildt is the best connected world leader, mutually following 44 peers. Ugandan Prime Minister @AmamaMbabazi is the most conversational world leader with 96% of his tweets being @replies to other Twitter users.
Many governments also use Twitter as an automated news feed from their website or Facebook page. As of 1 July 2013 the 505 accounts enjoyed a combined following of 105,733,356.
More than two-thirds of African governments have a presence on Twitter and African leaders are generally among the most conversational Twitter users. Twitter is very popular among Latin American leaders where almost all governments have a Twitter presence with very large numbers of followers.
Most Latin American presidents have personal accounts and they frequently communicate with each other publically on Twitter such as Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner @CFKArgentina, who is Latin America’s most followed leader with over 2.1 million followers
Twitter is also becoming the communication tool of choice for three-quarters of Asian governments. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono @SBYudhoyono has enjoyed phenomenal follower growth over the past 2.5 months. Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd @KRuddMP is among the most conversational leaders, frequently sharing personal moments on Twitter.
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