Solberg 'most chatty' leader on Twitter again
Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg is more likely to to respond to a tweet from one of her followers on Twitter than any other leader in the Western world, according to a new report on the microblogging network.
The country’s down-to-earth premier took the crown for the West’s most “conversational” leader for the second year running in the annual Twiplomacy report put together by PR firm Burson Marsteller.
The only leader to trump Solberg in 2014 for the proportion of their tweets being replies to other Twitter users was Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, meaning Solberg has leapt three places the rankings since last year’s report, when four other leaders were more “conversational”.
A full 73 percent of Solberg’s tweets were replies to other users, compared to the fairly extreme 86 percent racked up by Kagame.
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa came third, with 71 percent.
The study, released by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller on Tuesday, analyzed the Twitter use of accounts of 669 heads of state and government, foreign ministers and their institutions in 166 countries worldwide.
"Over the past years Twitter has become the channel of choice for digital diplomacy between world leaders, governments, foreign ministries and diplomats," the report states.
"Social media in general and Twitter in particular is no longer just an afterthought but an essential communication tool for governments to interact and broadcast 140 character messages and six-second soundbites."
But the fact that Solberg takes the time to reply to Tweets does not mean she lacks status in the Twittersphere. Norway’s PM is one of only three other world leaders mutually followed by Barack Obama, the other’s being Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Estonia’s Foreign Minister Keit Pentus.
The study also commended Solberg as one of the “notable exceptions” to the growing trend for world leaders to outsource their Twitter accounts to public relations staff, alongside Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, European Council President DonaldTusk, and Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics.
She stood out particularly, the reports authors noted, because she “admitted to suffering from dyslexia and makes the occasional spelling mistake”.
As of March 24th, the most-followed world leaders were US President Barack Obama at 57 million followers, Pope Francis at 20 million followers across his nine different language accounts and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at about 11 million.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who once vowed he would "wipe out Twitter", banning the social media site temporarily in the country - was also among the top five with 6.1 million followers.
The Pope beat Obama for most effective world leader, with an average of 9,929 re-tweets per tweet.
The report showed the Mexican presidency account to be the most prolific, with an average of 68 tweets per day.
"This study illustrates that governments are becoming savvier and more professional in the use of social media," said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa, in a statement.
"It is interesting to see how foreign ministries have honed their social strategies and built substantial dedicated teams to manage their online channels. We believe corporations can learn a lot from governments and their leaders on Twitter."