Home / Industry / Media /  Narendra Modi becomes second most followed leader on Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the second most followed leader on micro-blogging platform Twitter, according to 2020 edition of Twiplomacy rankings released by global communications agency BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe).

With over 57.9 million followers, Modi paced ahead of Pope Francis who has 51 million followers collectively on his nine different language accounts.

Modi's social media popularity has witnessed a meteoric rise as his political career soared on the back of two high-decibel consecutive electoral wins of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in country's general elections held in 2014 and 2019.

For the fourth year running, U.S. President Donald Trump is the most followed world leader on Twitter, with over 81.1 million followers on his account which has grown by 33% year-on-year.

President Trump is also the most effective world leader on Twitter, since each one of his tweets garners on average 24,000 retweets, which is slightly better than Saudi King Salman who garners 23,573 retweets per tweet. However, PM Modi leads the rankings in terms of true reach as calculated by influencer marketing platform Klear.com. Modi's account reaches on average 40 million followers, or 70% of his followers with his tweets, twice as many as President Trump who only reaches an audience of 20 million or a quarter of his followers.

The heads of state and government of 163 countries and 132 foreign ministers maintain personal accounts on the platform. As of 1June, 2020, all 1,089 personal and institutional Twitter accounts of world leaders had a combined total of more than 620 million followers.

According to the report, the governments and leaders of 189 countries had an official presence on the social network, representing 98% of the 193 UN member states. The governments of only four countries do not have a Twitter presence, namely Laos, North Korea, Sao Tome and Principe and Turkmenistan.

For the first time the Icelandic Foreign Ministry (@MFAIceland) tops the rankings of the best-connected foreign offices, mutually following 147 other foreign ministries and world leaders. The European External Action Service (@EU_eeas), the UK Foreign Office and the Russian Foreign Ministry are in second place mutually following 145 foreign ministries and world leaders.

Among the foreign ministries, the U.S. State Department is by far the most followed foreign ministry followes by that of Saudi Arabia and India.

As the novel coronavirus spread globally, covid-19 has become the most tweeted topic by world leaders during the first three months of 2020. Heads of state and foreign ministers took to Twitter to share critical coronavirus information and encourage their citizens to “stay home" and “stay safe." Many leaders have been leading by example and updating their Twitter profiles, wearing a face mask and participating in the #SafeHands challenge.

“The coronavirus has been the main topic on Twitter for the past three months, and due to the worldwide lockdown Twitter has seen increased interest," said Chad Latz, chief innovation officer, BCW. “It is therefore vital for world leaders to use channels like Twitter to reach out to their followers to spread critical health warnings and keep their followers abreast of the latest covid-19-related information. As the pandemic abates in some countries, world leaders will find themselves with an expanded audiences for future engagement."

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