The Estonian political leadership, always on the cusp of electronic innovation is also using social media channels for their external communication. The Estonian president joined Twitter in mid-May 2012 and became an instant hit for his frank tweets and outspokenness. The 35-year-old prime minister of the “tech and social media generation”, in office since March 2014, has also enlivened the Twitter activity of Estonia’s top politicians, sharing news of his official work as well as personal thoughts and impressions. High on the agenda on Estonian top politicians’ tweets has been the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and overall security situation, there also was an increased activity early 2015, aligned with the most intense period of election campaign prior to general elections on March 1.

Tweets from Estonia leaders

President of Estonia toomas hendrik ilves

“Help! I'm being followed ;-)” are the first words of Toomas Hendrik Ilves on Twitter. The Estonian President became an instant sensation for his frank and undiplomatic tweets in 2012. Ilves, who tweets himself, bluntly criticized New York Times blogger and Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman as "smug, overbearing & patronizing", in response to a blog post questioning Estonia's economic recovery. “Let's sh*t on East Europeans: their English is bad, won't respond,” he tweeted. "Guess a Nobel in trade means you can pontificate on fiscal matters & declare my country a "wasteland". That famous twispute (Twitter dispute) found its way into a short opera “Nostra Culpa” performed at the Tallinn Music Week festival in April 2013. Since late 2013 his Twitter activity intensified, with the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. @IlvesToomas posts on average 26 tweets per day, two thirds of which are retweets sharing foreign policy related statements and analysis from other Twitter-savvy politicians, analysts and foreign journalists alike. The outspoken president has clashed on several occasions with the Russian foreign ministry and Russian diplomats. Not surprisingly the account Toomas Ilves has attracted a fair share of trolls who often tweet abuse and insults which he even shared with his baffled followers. Despite the abuse @IlvesToomas keeps tweeting about cybersecurity, statistics and data about Estonia and is one of the most interesting Twitter accounts to follow.

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toomas hendrik ilves


vaata kodukalt/look at my homepage

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 05/14/2012
Language: English/Estonian/Latvian
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 26.30
Retweets: 62%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.27
Replies/Tweet: 0.05
Tweets retweeted: 35%
Most mentioned @FT (56), @Reuters (27), @RFERL (19), @NeinQuarterly (19), @Judy_Dempsey (16), @WSJ (14), @ProSyn (12), @Interpreter_Mag (12), @Po_st (12), @TheEconomist (12).
Average of retweets 18

First tweet

Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Rõivas

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas who took office on 26 March 2014 has been tweeting and engaging with other Twitter users since 2011. As the youngest prime minister in Europe and a true member of the “tech and social media generation”, he has been tweeting official news as well as sharing his personal life throughout the past years, while he was minister for social affairs. Since becoming prime minister he continues to tweet personally on average more than three times per day. There was a considerable hike in activity with both personal tweets and retweets in early September 2014 related to President Obama’s visit to Estonia, then again some increased activity during the election campaign in February 2015 when he shared a video explaining how it takes less than three minutes to e-vote in Estonia. @TaaviRoivas tweets both in English and in Estonian on the same account often posting pictures from his meetings as well as personal snapshots his daughter on his Instagram account. Judging by his most popular tweet taking a dig at Apple he is a tweep to follow.

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Taavi Rõivas


Peaminister, liberaal, spordifänn / Prime Minister of Estonia

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 11/26/2011
Language: Estonian/English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 3.52
Retweets: 54%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.21
Replies/Tweet: 0.12
Tweets retweeted: 20%
Most mentioned @anvarsamost (34), @andrestropp (31), @ArtoAas (31), @andreaskaju (24), @RaimoPoom (22), @graafik (18), @tankler (15), @KallePalling (15), @priitluts (14), @err_ee (13).
Average of retweets 6

First tweet

Government of Estonia Valitsuse uudised

The Estonian government maintains two Twitter accounts in in Estonian (@StenbockiMaja) and in English (@EstonianGovt) to broadcast news about the government’s work. Both accounts were set up in May 2009 but have a combined audience of 5,500 followers. Over the course of these years the Estonian account has tweeted 1500 times. The stream mostly consists of official news about the activities of Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas.

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Valitsuse uudised


Vabariigi Valitsuse uudised. For tweets in English, visit @EstonianGovt

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 05/19/2009
Language: Estonian
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 0.70
Retweets: 12%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.05
Replies/Tweet: 0.00
Tweets retweeted: 26%
Most mentioned @TaaviRoivas (49), @Stanford (4), @eucopresident (2), @sisemin (2), @pipedrive (1), @MarisLauri (1), @ottparna (1), @FT (1), @sikkut (1), @lehoverk (1).
Average of retweets 2

First tweet

Foreign Minister of Estonia Keit

Keit Pentus-Rosimannus took the office of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November 2014, when she reactivated her Twitter presence, after 3.5 years of inactivity during her tenure as Ministry for the Environment. Since then the activity has been mostly on official meetings, communiques and retweets on current world affairs. The personal touch is presented mostly through domestic politics related discussions and @replies, quite often on topics directly related with general election campaign topics. Being an early follower of @BarackObama, @KeitPentus has the privilege of being followed by the US President who once used the auto-follow function.

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Patriot of the most beautiful and homey country in the world - Estonia. Member of Parliament.

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 02/06/2009
Language: Estonian/English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 0.21
Retweets: 16%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.37
Replies/Tweet: 0.29
Tweets retweeted: 16%
Most mentioned @unclelarko (18), @archiei (12), @merlisnogene (8), @elver (7), @kaurkender (6), @TaaviRoivas (6), @anvarsamost (6), @henrikroonemaa (5), @gerdtarand (5), @LinkeviciusL (4).
Average of retweets 8

First tweet

Foreign Ministry of Estonia Estonian MFA

The official account of the Estonian foreign ministry was set up in May 2009. The account tweets about the activities of Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus as well as ministry related news, such as new consulates, travel warnings etc. More than half of the tweets are retweets often of the UK ambassador @HMAChrisHoltby, the @EstEmbassyUK and the @USEmbTallinn. The Twitter activity intensified in 2014 with the main focus on the crisis in Ukraine and the security situation in Eastern Europe in general. A fair share of effort goes into disseminating information on Estonian tech-industry success stories, such as the e-residency initiative. The @valismin account is very well connected, mutually following 43 other foreign ministers and ministries.

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Estonian MFA


Official Twitter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia: news, activity, engagement, #publicdiplomacy #foreignrelations

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 03/16/2009
Language: Estonian
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 1.18
Retweets: 51%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.31
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 26%
Most mentioned @Urmaspaet (144), @valismin (69), @IlvesToomas (36), @KeitPentus (27), @UN (18), @NATO (16), @MargvelashviliG (12), @Riigikogu (10), @UNESCO (10), @EstonianGovt (8).
Average of retweets 7

First tweet