Will Twitter Become The ‘De Facto’ Communication Tool For World Leaders In 2013?

Three out of four world leaders agree: Social media, particularly Twitter, is THE way to reach the people these days.

A recent study reports that most heads of state worldwide are now on Twitter.

Politicians in the U.S. worked Twitter hard during the presidential election, culminating in 31 million tweets and the fantastically popular “four more years” Obama photo.

And some politicians have become Twitter superstars, like New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker.

According to Digital Daya’s World Leaders on Twitter Rankings Report, “world leaders now recognize the opportunities social media holds as an informative and engaging tool.”

Analyses as of December 2012 reveals that 75%, or three out of four heads of state, were utilizing the social media site Twitter. . . . The new figures represent a 78% increase in the number of heads of state and national governments on Twitter from 2011.

It’s a smart move, of course. As the study notes, digital activism is on the rise and although some governments may view this as a threat, others realize there are benefits to having “direct interaction with constituents.”

Anyone can send an @ message to a world leader [although he/she may not see it] and . . . with the aid of Twitter a government message has the potential to go viral or reach a worldwide audience.

87% of democratic countries had a leader utilizing Twitter in 2012. The political leadership of most fragile nations, or those with a high degree of political instability, continued to view social media as a threat, though.

And what does all of the mean for Twitter?

The data we have been tracking for the last three years shows an amazing 93% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in adoption of Twitter by Heads of State. Based on these growth rates, the Digital Policy Council anticipates penetration on Twitter for world leaders to be nearing 100% in 2013. This would render Twitter as a de facto communication tool for all heads of state.

For a leader who a short time ago threatened to shut down social media services in London in the wake of rioting, Prime Minister Cameron’s reversal — “You’ve got to get with the programme” — is quite telling.

So tell your friends they need to ‘get with the programme’ as well and get on Twitter already.

(Approval image from Shutterstock)