Gone are those days where the only time you could have access to your leader or politician was at a political rally. Social media has enabled ordinary citizens to engage and 'follow' their politicians on Twitter or even 'like' their family vacation photos on Instagram.
Matthias Lüfkens, leads the Digital Practice of Burson-Marsteller across Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA). Lüfkens' firm has over the years, looked at how politicians and office bearers use social media.
According to their research and recent studies, governments are placing more effort into their social media communication.
Lüfkens says they began tracking Twitter usage by office bearers and later expanded to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus and even Snapchat.
World leaders are active on Snapchat. I'll give you an example, the president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, he basically started on Snapchat.— Matthias Lüfkens, leads the Digital Practice of Burson-Marsteller across Europe, Middle-East and Africa
Lüfkens says very few politicians and leaders manage their own social media accounts and instead rely on their social media managers. He would like to see world leaders engaging their followers personally once in a while. Remember #AskMmusi?
Donald Trump seems to manage his himself.— Matthias Lüfkens, leads the Digital Practice of Burson-Marsteller across Europe, Middle-East and Africa
The recently published 'Twiplomacy' study looked at how world leaders use Instagram. Lüfkens says 90% of all UN governments have a presence both on Twitter and Facebook, while 72% now have a presence on Instagram.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the most followed world leader on Instagram with 6.8 million followers, closely followed by U.S. President Donald Trump with 6.3 million followers.
Both leaders combined have fewer followers than former U.S. President Barack Obama who left office on January 20, 2017 and now has 13.8 million followers.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has posted only 53 photos – 20 times less than the 1028 posts posted by Donald Trump – but over the past 12 months, Modi has enjoyed a far better interaction rate, with 5.15 percent compared to Trump’s 3.39 percent.
For the full interview listen to the audio below: