How world leaders connect on Twitter

Despite abundant competition, nothing beats Twitter for immediacy of communication; one of the reasons it can be a great resource for leaders to capture the hearts and minds of audiences. But which world leaders stand out on the social media platform and how are they using it? The Twiplomacy 2015 study How World Leaders Connect on Twitter conducted by public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller, has turned up some surprising stats. After analysing 669 Twitter accounts in 166 countries, the study reveals just who is the most influential, who is most active and which language is the most common.

President Barack Obama may still be the most followed world leader, with a cohort of almost 60 million to his Twitter handle, but according to the study this hasn’t resulted in him being the most influential. Holding the title instead is Pope Francis on his Spanish-language account, which is retweeted an impressive 9,929 times for every tweet he sends out. His English account also receives a great number of retweets, 7,527 for every one the Pope sends. Clearly, the spiritual leader has a much more engaged Twitter following than Obama who receives ‘only’ 1,210 retweets for every tweet he (or his team) sends. Proposed suggestions for this lower number of retweets is the account’s campaign focus, and the primarily American-only content of the tweets.

When looking to activity, four of the top five most active accounts came from South American countries, with the Mexican presidency the busiest tweeter, sending out on average 68 tweets a day. The account often retweets the same material across different days and times periods to capture different audiences.

Finally, it may come as no surprise based on the previous statistics that when analysing the most popular language for world leaders on Twitter, the study found that Spanish was the most tweeted. While 241 accounts tweeted in English, 74 Spanish-language accounts sent out much more content with a combined total of 853,503 tweets versus the English language accounts’ total of 737,057.

For more information on How World Leaders Connect on Twitter, click here


Image: Thinkstock


Facts & Figures Archive