More than three-quarters (77.7 percent) of world leaders now have a Twitter account and two-thirds (68 percent) have made mutual connections with their peers, according to the latest Twiplomacy study from Burson-Marsteller.
“Twiplomacy,” an annual global study of world leaders on Twitter, analyzed 505 government accounts in 153 countries.
The findings indicate that US President @BarackObama is still the most followed world leader on Twitter with more than 33 million followers. However, while almost a third (148) of all world leaders and governments are following Barack Obama he is not the best connected leader; @BarackObama only mutually follows two other world leaders, Norway’s Jens Stoltenberg and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.
The @WhiteHouse and the @StateDept are followed by 132 and 99 peers respectively, but they are also giving all other world leaders the cold shoulder; @WhiteHouse follows three other leaders and the @StateDept is not following any other Foreign Ministry.
The Pope (@Pontifex) has become the second most followed world leader with more than 7 million followers on his nine different accounts. Although Pope Francis does not engage with other Twitter users, his Spanish tweets are retweeted on average more than 11,000 times, making him the most influential world leader on Twitter. In comparison @BarackObama’s tweets are only retweeted on average 2,309 times despite his massive following.
Turkish President Abdullah Gül (@cbabdullahgul) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (@RT_Erdogan) are among the top five most followed world leaders with more than 3.4 million followers each.
But Swedish Foreign Minister @CarlBildt is the best connected world leader mutually following 44 peers. The European External Action Service (@eu_eeas), is the best connected Foreign Service with 36 mutual connections followed by the Polish Foreign Ministry @PolandMFA, the UK @ForeignOffice and the French Foreign Ministry @FranceDiplo.
“This study illustrates how Twitter and social media in general have become part and parcel of any integrated government communications,” says Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa. “While Twitter is certainly not the only channel of communication and will not replace face-to-face meetings, it allows for direct peer-to-peer interaction. I expect we will see an increasing number of corporations and CEOs also embracing the new tools that are connecting our world leaders.”