Twitter now the medium of choice for world leaders, notes Twiplomacy study

29 Apr,2015

By A Correspondent

 

Over the past four years, Twitter has become the social media channel of choice for world leaders to reach large audiences with key messages and sound-bytes, according to Burson-Marsteller’s Twiplomacy study, an annual global survey of world leaders on Twitter. Twiplomacy aims to identify the extent to which world leaders use Twitter and how they connect on the social network.

 

The study notes that Governments are putting more effort into their social media communication and are including more visuals and videos in their tweets. The study analyzed 669 government accounts in 166 countries and revealed that 86 percent of all 193 United Nations (UN) governments have a presence on Twitter. One hundred and seventy-two heads of state and government have personal Twitter accounts and only 27 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia-Pacific, do not have any Twitter presence.

 

“The Burson-Marsteller Twiplomacy Study has become an essential gauge of the power and reach of social media,” said Donald A. Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller. “This fourth annual Burson-Marsteller Twiplomacy Study provides critically valuable insights about the communications practices and needs of leaders around the world.”

 

While @BarackObama is the most followed world leader, he is also dwarfed in terms of retweets per tweet by Pope Francis who averages almost 10,000 retweets for each tweet sent on his Spanish account, against 1,210 for each tweet sent by @BarackObama.

 

“This study illustrates that governments are becoming savvier and more professional in the use of social media,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa and Global Chief Strategy Officer. “It is interesting to see how foreign ministries have honed their social strategies and built substantial dedicated teams to manage their online channels. We believe corporations can learn a lot from governments and their leaders on Twitter.”

 

More than 4,100 embassies and ambassadors are now active on Twitter. In New York, Washington, London and Brussels, most diplomatic missions use Twitter to have a voice at the digital table. Canada, the EU, 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.

 

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