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Uganda, Rwanda have world's 'most conversational leaders' on Twitter

worldleaderstwitter

Ugandan Prime Minister Patrick Amama Mbabazi (@AmamaMbabazi) and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame (@PaulKagame) are the most conversational world leaders on Twitter, according to a study by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller.

The study, dubbed ‘Twiplomacy’, refers to data taken in July 2013 from the accounts of 505 heads of state and government, foreign ministers and their institutions in 153 countries.

Burson-Marsteller adds that it looked at over 50 variables using Twitonomy (http://twitonomy.com) and used social media measuring tool Doesfollow (http://doesfollow.com) to analyse Twitter relations between world leaders.

And the study concludes that 96% of Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s tweets are @replies to other Twitter users.

Meanwhile, the study says that 71% of governments in Africa have a Twitter account while the figures in North America and Asia are respectively 79% and 76%.

The study goes on to report that US President Barack Obama @BarackObama is the most followed world leader on Twitter with more than 33 million followers. Meanwhile, the Pope (@Pontifex) has become the second most followed world leader with more than seven million followers on his nine different accounts.

Unlike the above-mentioned Rwandan and Ugandan leaders, though, Pope Francis does not engage with other Twitter users, says Burson-Marsteller. But his Spanish tweets are retweeted on average more than 11,000 times, making him the “most influential world leader” on Twitter.

Looking broadly at world leaders on Twitter, Burson-Marsteller’s study says that more than three-quarters (77.7%) of world leaders have a Twitter account and two-thirds (68%) have made mutual connections with their peers.

“This study illustrates how Twitter and social media in general have become part and parcel of any integrated government communications”, says Jeremy Galbraith, chief executive officer of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“While Twitter is certainly not the only channel of communication and will not replace face-to-face meetings, it allows for direct peer-to-peer interaction. I expect we will see an increasing number of corporations and CEOs also embracing the new tools that are connecting our world leaders”, he said.

Regarding other leaders, the study says Turkish President Abdullah Gül (@cbabdullahgul) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RT_Erdogan) are among the top five most followed world leaders with more than 3.4 million followers each. And Swedish Foreign Minister @CarlBildt is the best connected world leader mutually following 44 peers.

The study notes that Twitter has become a formidable broadcasting tool for world leaders.

There are 227 personal accounts and 76 world leaders tweet personally albeit many only occasionally. Seven of the G8 leaders have a personal Twitter account and all but one of the G20 governments have an official Twitter presence.

“People want to engage with their leaders on Twitter”, notes Matthias Lüfkens, Burson-Marsteller’s digital practice leader EMEA and author of the report.

“However, it is astonishing to see that accounts with the largest number of followers have the least interaction with other Twitter users.”

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