June 1, 2017

Press Release

PM Modi Third Most Followed Leader On Twitter

PM Modi Third Most Followed Leader on Twitter: Burson-Marsteller Study

Twitter is the Prime Social Media Network for World Leaders

NEW YORK, June 1, 2017 – The Indian Prime Minister @NarendraModi is the third-most followed world leader with 30 million followers on his personal account and 18 million followers on his institutional account, @PMOIndia, which is in fourth place on Twitter, according to Burson-Marsteller’s Twiplomacy study. Pope Francis is the most followed world leader on Twitter with a combined total of 33 million folworld leaderslowers on his nine language accounts, ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump with 30 million.

India’s Foreign Minister, @SushmaSwaraj, is the most followed female world leader with 8 million followers and @IndianDiplomacy is third among foreign ministries with 1.2 million followers on Twitter.

Twitter is the prime social network used by 276 heads of state and government, and foreign ministers, in 178 countries, representing 92 percent of all United Nations (UN) member states. Facebook is the second-most used social platform by world leaders, with 169 governments having established official pages. However, world leaders have, on average, twice as many followers on their Facebook pages as followers on Twitter. Data for Twiplomacy, which updated the studies about Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope, was captured in May 2017 using Burson-Marsteller’s proprietary Burson tools, CrowdTangle.com and Twitonomy.com.

Are World Leaders Conversational on Twitter?

While President Trump’s tweets have generated 166 million interactions (likes and retweets) over the past 12 months –PM Modi is in second place with 35 million interactions. For instance, in 2015 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a Direct Message to his then 12.5 million followers celebrating one year in government. Today selected accounts can still send him direct messages and are greeted by this welcome message.

Visual Communications on Twitter

A number of world leaders have use animated gifs to lighten up their tweets in a fun and playful way. For example, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi created a gif to promote his mobile app.

The 2017 edition of Twiplomacy also examines the use of other social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope, and the Twiplomacy.com website includes rankings as well as a social media atlas for each country studied. The study found, for example, the number of governments using Periscope has doubled over the past year, offering a cost-effective way to broadcast press conferences live.

“Politics and diplomacy are playing out on social media in a way we have never seen before,” said Don Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller. “With the U.S. president bypassing traditional government channels to communicate directly to his supporters and detractors alike, we can expect more people in positions of power to adopt this practice. Our Twiplomacy study shows how fast-paced and dynamic our communications landscape truly is.”
The 2017 Twiplomacy study analyzed 856 Twitter accounts of heads of state and government, and foreign ministers, in 178 countries with a combined total audience of 356 million followers. Foreign ministries tend to use Twitter to establish mutual relations. The most followed non-government account is the United Nations Twitter account, @UN, which is followed by 338 of the 856 world leaders’ Twitter accounts; @BarackObama and the @ObamaWhiteHouse are followed by 312 and 254 world leaders, respectively. @UNICEF is the second-most followed international organization and The New York Times (@NYTimes) is the most followed news organization. The @Twiplomacy Twitter account is the eighth-most followed non-governmental account by world leaders, with a following of 184 heads of state and government, ahead of @Reuters and @TheEconomist.

About the Study: Twiplomacy is Burson-Marsteller’s leading global study of how world leaders, governments and international organizations use social media. The 2017 edition of the study specifically looked at Twitter and we updated the studies about Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope. Data was captured in May 2017, using Burson-Marsteller’s proprietary Burson tools, CrowdTangle.com and Twitonomy.com.

About Burson-Marsteller

Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 77 offices and 85 affiliate offices, together operating in 110 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world’s leader in communications services. For more information, please visit www.burson-marsteller.com.

About Genesis Burson-Marsteller:

Genesis Burson-Marsteller is a leading public relations and public affairs consultancy that delivers integrated communication services to some of the best global and Indian companies. Our focus is on creating real measurable impact on our client’s business through evidence based, ideas driven and result oriented campaigns. We have created a network across South Asia which includes wholly owned offices in seven of India’s key metros and a strong affiliate footprint in over 200 cities across India and in neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.