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BizReport : Social Marketing : January 07, 2013

75% of world leaders now have a Twitter account

In 2012, the number of the world's leaders with an account on Twitter surged, according to new research by the Digital Policy Council, with even the most ardent detractors hopping on board the social media platform.

by Helen Leggatt

digitaldaya.jpgIf you can't beat them, join them, appears to be the motto of today's world leaders. While just 69 out of 164 country leaders embraced Twitter in 2011, new figures from the Digital Policy Council reveal that figure shot up 78% during 2012.

More of the world's leaders are embracing the opportunities that Twitter provides to engage with, and inform, their people and the rest of the world. Today, 123 country leaders, or 75% of the total, have accounts on Twitter, set up either in their own name or via an official government office.

President Barack Obama continues to lead the Heads of State Top 10, with 24 million Followers. Following the election news that he had been declared the winner, Obama's account sent out the Tweet "Four more years", along with a photo of himself and the First Lady, which became the most Re-Tweeted Tweet of all time.

While the majority of world leaders in the Top 10 ranking remains the same as 2011, there are two new entries namely Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in at number 5 while Colombia's Present Juan Manuel Santos makes his first appearance ranked number 8.

"The data we have been tracking for the last three years shows an amazing 93% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in adoption of Twitter by Heads of State," concludes the Digital Policy Council's report. "Based on these growth rates, the Digital Policy Council anticipates penetration on Twitter for world leaders to be nearing 100% in 2013. This would render Twitter as a de facto communication tool for all heads of state."

Even world leaders who have previously been reluctant to jump aboard Twitter have embraced the platform. David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, had long held out from joining but, in October 2012, gave in and created an account. When questioned by the media as to why he was at long last using Twitter, he said, "In this modern world you have got to use every means to try and communicate your message and explain to people why you are doing it. You've got to get with the programme, I suppose."

Tags: communication channels, Digital Daya, government, social media, Twitter

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