Study: Israel doing well in ‘twitter-plomacy’

When it comes to "Twiplomatic relations," Israel is ranked fourth on the list of "Best connected world leaders in 2018."

July 10, 2018 20:44
2 minute read.
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Twitter and a Facebook logo

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Twitter and a Facebook logo. (photo credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS)


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First US News & World Report ranks Israel earlier this week as the eighth most powerful country in the world, and now one of the world’s leading PR firms says the Foreign Ministry is the 10th most followed foreign ministry account in the world.

When it rains, it pours.

The leading Manhattan- based public relations firm Burson-Marsteller released a report Tuesday on Twiplomacy, measuring the reach of the world’s countries and leaders on social media, especially on Twitter.

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with just 1.4 million followers on his Twitter account, lags far behind US President Donald Trump and even Jordan’s Queen Rania, Israel’s foreign ministry – with 501,000 followers – is more than holding its own.

The US State Department is the most popular foreign ministry, with more than five million Twitter subscribers, followed by the foreign ministries of Saudi Arabia, India, Turkey and Russia.

When it comes to what the study calls “Twiplomatic relations,” meaning establishing mutual twitter relations with other ministries that allow for direct messaging back and forth, Israel is even more effective, ranked fourth on the list of “Best connected world leaders in 2018,” with 115 peer connections, following the EU External Action Service with the UK’s Foreign Office and the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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Israel also gets a favorable mention as a country with a wide ‘twiplomatic’ network, with more than 100 different embassies and heads of missions on Twitter, an effective way to better amplify the country’s message.

According to the study, all but the governments of six UN countries – Laos, Mauritania, Nicaragua, North Korea, Swaziland and Turkmenistan – maintain a presence on Twitter. Facebook is the second most popular social media platform for government leaders.

The study said that US President Donald Trump has “undeniably” made the biggest impact on Twitter since taking office. With more than 52 million followers, he is by far the most followed leader, and his tweets average more than 20,000 retweets.

Pope Francis is next on the list after Trump, with 47.5 million followers, followed by Indian Prime Minister Naerandra Modi, with 42.5 million. Jordan’s Queen Rania is ninth on the list, with 10.6 million followers.

According to the study, of Netanyahu’s 3,556 tweets, the one most widely re-tweeted was his controversial tweet of January 28, 2017, which infuriated the Mexican government because it supported Trump’s decision to build a wall along the Mexican-US border.

“President Trump is right,” the controversial tweet read.

“I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration.

Great success. Great idea.”

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