The world of social media has brought us so many new words. We tweet, and we Facebook. Now our leaders engage in "twiplomacy.” In fact, a new study shows that almost two-thirds of world leaders have a Twitter account. The thing is, they're really not using it right. I follow U.S. President Barack Obama. He broadcasts, instead of shares (if it's really him posting at all). And I guess other world leaders follow a similar prescription; most of them aren't even following each other, according to PR giant Burson-Marsteller. Some interesting findings from the study:
- Of the 264 government accounts in 125 countries that it researched, 76 percent of all world leaders and governments are following Barack Obama, but he only mutually follows Norway’s Jens Stoltenberg and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.
- EU President Herman van Rompuy (@euHvR) is the best connected world leader, mutually following 11 of his peers.
- Russian President Putin, Rwandan President Kagame, Singapore Prime Minister Lee, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte and 35 other accounts do not follow any other Twitter user, effectively cutting themselves out of the conversation.
- On the other hand Ugandan Prime Minister Mbabazi and Rwandan President Kagame are the most conversational world leaders on Twitter with 96 percent and 93 percent of their tweets, respectively, being @ replies.
- Politicians often discover Twitter during election campaigns but once elected, these accounts tend to go silent, such as the accounts of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (@DilmaBR) and French President François Hollande (@FHollande).
- There are 120 personal accounts; however, only 30 world leaders tweet personally, and then only occasionally.
- Twitter is most popular in North and South America with 80 percent of governments active. Obama is the most followed world leader with 17 million followers (globally in fifth place behind Britney Spears). Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez is in second place with 3 million followers.
- Ninety of the accounts have never sent a retweet, and 99 have never sent an @reply
- Obama was the first world leader to sign up to Twitter on March 5, 2007 followed in the same month by @EPN, the account now used by Mexico’s President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto.
- The most popular tweet, "Same-sex couples should be able to get married." - President Obama, was retweeted 62,047 times on May 9.
- World leaders tweet in 43 different languages. English is used by 34 percent followed by Spanish (15 percent). However, Spanish and Latin American leaders tweet three times as much as their English counterparts
To access the complete research, visit www.twiplomacy.com