US president : World's most popular leader on Twitter
July 30, 2012 00:00 By Agencies and Bernama
US President Barack Obama has topped the league of world leaders with 17 million followers on Twitter, according to a survey of the social networking usage by heads of government.
According to the Scotsman, the survey by US-based PR firm Burson-Marsteller looking at the rise of "Twiplomacy", Obama was the first major politician to fully harness social media, in his 2007 campaign.
His Twitter account @BarackObama sent the most popular tweet of any world leader on May 9. The account is ranked fifth in the Twitterverse for followers, just behind @britneyspears, according to the study.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - @chavezcandanga, is the second most popular leader on Twitter, and 38 percent of his tweets are replies.
Among world leaders on Twitter, David Cameron came fifth with more than two million followers. However, while Obama was top in terms of number of followers, only 1 percent of tweets from his account are replies, putting him well down the rankings in terms of engaging with his followers.
This compares with Rwandan President @PaulKagame, who has just under 71,000 followers, but whose tweets are more than 90 percent replies. Like many government accounts, his team sent the vast majority of Obama's messages.
Only eight of the almost 5,000 tweets sent from the @BarackObama account were personally signed off with his initials "-BO”, including a Valentine's Day message to his wife.
The study also found that politicians frequently discover Twitter during election campaigns, but once elected the accounts fall silent.
Meanwhile Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak has been listed as number two in Asia and number 17 in the world out of the 254 head of governments and state and institutions.
He also ranked the sixth most popular world leader who "tweets properly" -- coming in at number 30 out of 254 head of states and government that actually do their own tweeting.
Najib started to tweet on Sept 23, 2008 and as of today he has 767,679 followers on Twitter with 2,675 tweets and 81 following.
This makes him by far the most popular national leader in Asia on Twitter, per capita (1 in 37) and comfortably in the global top ten.
According to the report, Najib is also following a number of international and regional leaders and is mutually connected with @bluehousekorea, @karimmassimov_e and @number10gov.