Since his election in last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@NarendraModi) has become the fourth-most followed world leader on Twitter, with 4,981,777followers. He has surpassed the United States White House account, @WhiteHouse (4,980,207), on Wednesday, and is using Twitter as a power tool to broadcast his messages, according to Twiplomacy, an annual global study of world leaders on Twitter by PR firm Burson-Marsteller.
Released on Wednesday, the study also revealed that more than 83 per cent of all United Nations governments have a presence on Twitter, and two-thirds (68 per cent) of all heads of state and government have personal Twitter accounts.
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The data was collected in June 2014 from the accounts of 643 heads of state and government, foreign ministers and their institutions in 161 countries worldwide looking at more than 50 variables using Twitonomy. Burson-Marsteller used Doesfollow to analyse Twitter relations between world leaders.
“I am a firm believer in the power of technology and social media to communicate with people across the world”, Narendra Modi wrote in his inaugural message on his new website. Within weeks of his election in May 2014, the @NarendraModi account has moved into the top five most followed Twitter accounts of world leaders with close to five million followers.
Twiplomacy findings also reveal that Narendra Modi is the second most followed Asian leader on Twitter, but is not very well connected with Asian leaders, in terms of mutual peer connections. Modi is not the topmost virtually conversaational leader, even though he features on number four in the study of most active Asian leaders.
As of 24 June 2014, the five most followed world leaders were U.S. President, Barack Obama (@BarackObama) with 43 million followers of his campaign account, Pope Francis (@Pontifex) with 14 million followers on his nine different language accounts, Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (@SBYudhoyono) with 5 million followers, the @WhiteHouse and @NarendraModi. 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.
“This study illustrates that while the number of followers is important, the number of mutual connections is even more important”, 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 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.”