By 2 February 2016, the world leaders surveyed had accumulated almost 23 million followers and published more than 76,000 posts
A new Burson-Marsteller study indicates that while more than 70 percent of governments worldwide have an official Instagram profile, a third of the 305 accounts polled are dormant or inactive. Data collected this month revealed that 136 out of 193 UN member states maintained a presence.
Titled World Leaders on Instagram, the report’s findings form the second installment of the 2016 edition of the global public relations and communications firm’s annual Twiplomacy survey, which analyses how different heads of states and governments use social media to engage citizens.
Over the past four years, governments have increasingly experimented with the platform, posting images to illustrate their daily activities including behind-the-scenes shots to connect with voters and constituents. By 2 February 2016, all participants had accumulated a total of almost 23 million followers.
Also, they were found to have published more than 76,000 posts—for which over 160 million likes had been received. America’s President, Barack Obama, has topped the charts as the most popular world leader on the channel with at least six million followers across his campaign account.
The United States chief is followed by Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, an amateur photographer recording more than two million followers. Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, has secured third spot, just ahead of the White House with 1.7 million followers respectively.
Meanwhile, Queen Rania of Jordan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, remain close behind with 1.4 million followers. Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan; Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei; and Argentinian President, Mauricio Macri are included in the Top 10.
Like the last three, Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi completes the same list with more than half a million followers each. Few world leaders manage their accounts themselves, but those who do, have posted selfies with their fans, family, and even their counterparts.
Obama is the most effective leader with over 56,000 interactions. Modi stays close with 42,000 interactions despite having posted only 37 pictures since starting out in November 2014. Medvedev, Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed, and the UAE’s Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, all received more than 25,000 interactions per post.
Similarly, the profile of the Information Department of the government of Brunei is the most active account, sharing more than four posts per day on average. The Foreign Ministry and Foreign Minister of Kuwait are also prolific users of Instagram.
“While Instagram is a newer medium for world leaders compared to Facebook or Twitter, its emphasis on visual communications makes it a powerful channel for connecting with citizens,” said Donald A. Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO of Burson-Marsteller.