Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni has been named the third most influential African leader on Twitter.
According to BCW’s Twiplomacy, a digital diplomacy initiative by the strategic communication agency, BCW Global in their 2022 World Leader Power Ranking report, Kenyan President William Ruto ranked 13 worldwide leads the pack in Africa and is closely followed by Cyril Ramaphosa, from South Africa and Museveni comes third and 29th in the world.
Elsewhere, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept his position as the most influential world leader on Twitter, followed by U.S. President Joe Biden and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
According to BCW, the global communication agency’s digital diplomacy initiative’s new ranking algorithm has been designed to identify what influence is on Twitter among a particular list of handles.
Analysing data from October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022, Twiplomacy’s algorithm assigned a tailored weighting to variables including mentions, tweets, retweets, reach, impressions, follower changes, likes and follower count.
It then applied additional variables such as gender, age, length of time in office and others to further contextualise, compare and understand influence factors in the ranking.
The digital diplomacy initiative also used authentic, human language; quick reaction times; and a sense of humour or flair – attributes that depart from the formality of traditional diplomacy to determine a world leaders’ success on Twitter.
“Influence on Twitter is more than how many followers a user has — it’s about how engaged a follower base is, and how likely they are to interact with a leader’s message. Our proprietary algorithm uncovered engagement metrics like retweets as the indicators contributing most to influence, which also power a leader’s reach. This signals a shift from the popularity contest of the last decade to a more earned approach, powered by people – and to some extent, an updated algorithm that rewards active participation over passive consumption ,” said Jillian Stead Jones, Director and Digital Adviser for Twiplomacy.
“The leaders who place high in our ranking sustain an active and engaged community of users who carry and amplify the digital conversation. The recipe for success varies from leader to leader, but we’ve observed that the highest-ranking individuals are those with big personalities who use Twitter as a means to reach their audiences directly – from their electorate, to fellow leaders and influencers.”
Beth Laffin,the head of International Affairs at BCW and Geopolitical adviser for Twiplomacy said: “Twitter has long been the platform of choice for global leaders looking to shape the zeitgeist due to its influence among fellow politicians, journalists and political audiences.This makes the relative rise and fall of global influence among the world leaders telling. In a tangible reflection of world events, Russia President Vladimir Putin’s
handle has fallen to outside the top 50 while Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has risen into the top 10.”
“The research also shows the women of the world dancing in solidarity with Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin, with her digital influence soaring 19 places in the global ranking to 24th . Maintaining, growing and leveraging that following for her own global influence will be the opportunity for her in 2023. Of course, as Twitter continues to evolve, it remains to be seen what the next year will bring to what is currently the world’s foremost platform for digital diplomacy.“