The latest study of world leaders on Twitter found that the vast majority (83 percent) of the 193 UN member countries have a Twitter presence, and over two-thirds (68 percent) of heads of state and government have their own personal accounts. But which governments come out on top, when it comes to tweeting?
The 2014 Twiplomacy report, the global study of world leaders on Twitter, was released this week, going in-depth into how governments and their leaders use Twitter.
President Obama (@BarackObama) is – to no one’s surprise – the most-followed world leader on Twitter, with 43.7 million followers. This massively eclipses the number two world leader, Pope Francis (@Pontifex), who has 14 million followers on his nine different accounts (which are language-specific), and third place Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (@SBYudhoyono), Indonesia’s President, with five million.
Interestingly, India’s new Prime Minister @NarendraModi (@NarendraModi) has amassed just under 5 million followers since his election in May 2014, and has skyrocketed to fourth place.
But size doesn’t necessarily mean influence, as the report points out. It’s Pope Francis, not President Obama, who is the most influential world leader on Twitter. Obama’s tweets earn, on average, 1,442 retweets (despite the US President’s record-shattering “Four more years.” tweet which earned 806,066 retweets). Compared to this, the Pope’s 10,000 average retweets on his Spanish account and 6,462 average retweets on his English account are quite impressive, and have earned him the “Most Influential” title for the second year in a row.
The third-annual Twiplomacy study was conducted by PR firm Burston-Marsteller. In the inaugural report in 2012, researchers found 264 world leaders on Twitter, with the number rising to 505 in the 2013 report.