‘Twiplomacy’ is new mantra for leaders
Leaders in the Middle East are increasingly using Twitter as an effective tool to inform people and engage with the masses on a public level.
The micro-blogging site has remained popular with leaders as results of a new survey revealed insights into latest trends.
The Twiplomacy study identifies Arabic as the fourth most used language among world leaders. English is the main language followed by Spanish and French. Leaders across the world tweet in a total of 43 different languages.
Thirty heads of states and governments do their own tweeting. Among the Middle Eastern leaders, the most conversational is Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati who personally engages with his 54,700+ followers. One-fifth of his tweets are replies and he regularly has one-hour long Twitter chats with his followers.
In November 2011, he organised a Twitter Q&A with UK Ambassador to Lebanon, @HMATomFletcher.
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman is one among the few heads of state who occasionally tweets himself, signing his personal tweets MS, which are sent straight from his BlackBerry. “It is clear that leaders in the region have realised that social media is an effective tool to engage with their people,” said Sunil John, CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller. Some 264 heads of state and their institutions in 125 countries were studied as part of the ‘Twiplomacy’ study by public relations consultancy Burson-Marsteller.
According to Dubai School of Government’s recent Arab Social Media Report, the Arab region has close to 2.1 million active Twitter users tweeting almost 4,000 tweets a minute. The top five Arab countries in terms of Twitter users are: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Lebanon.