Politicians are the most useless tweeps to follow on twitter, according to the study by Burson-Marsteller . The study shows that almost two-thirds of world leaders have a Twitter account. However, whilst the social network offers direct interaction between users, almost half of world leader accounts don’t follow any of their peers.
The study found that 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 who have abandoned their followers since taking office. There are 120 personal accounts, however only 30 world leaders tweet personally and then only occasionally. Other findings are:
- Barack Obama is the most followed world leader with 17,115,077 followers, globally in 5th place just behind Britney Spears. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez is in second place with 3,152,608 followers, followed by the White House, Queen Rania of Jordan and 10 Downing Street who all have over two million followers.
- Out of the 264 accounts of heads of state and government 90 have never ever sent a retweet and 99 have never sent an @reply
- US President Barack Obama was the first world leader to sign up to Twitter on 5 March 2007 followed the same month by @EPN, the account now used by Mexico’s President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto.
- Most popular tweet: “Same-sex couples should be able to get married.” – President Obama”, retweeted 62,047 times on 9 May 2012
- World leaders tweet in 43 different languages. English is used by 34% followed by Spanish (15%). However Spanish and Latin American leaders tweet three times as much as their English counterparts
Back here in Kenya we have seen the rush by Politicians to be on twitter, in an effort to capture the youth votes. The problem is most of the accounts have nothing worth reading or listening to. To say the truth most of the accounts are completely useless. If the only thing you tell people is where you are, then your understanding of using Social Media must be upside down …”Now I am in the Republic of Rongai”….
Social Media gives Politicians voice and platforms to connect directly with people without the notorious distortion from the mainstream media. Unfortunately, it is clearly becoming a wasted opportunity by Politicians. At least not all …“Life is tweet”, former UK Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott recently wrote in the Guardian: “Twitter has given me a voice and a connection to millions of people that the distorted prism of the mainstream media denied.”
Data used was taken in July 2012 from the accounts of 264 heads of state and government and their institutions in 125 countries world-wide looking at over 30 variables using Twitonomy (http://twitonomy.com). Burson-Marsteller used Doesfollow (http://doesfollow.com) to analyze Twitter relations between world leaders and MyFirstTweet (http://myfirsttweet.com) to identify the first tweet of each world leader.