Canada

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper has a personal Twitter account in English (@PMHarper) and an institutional account in French (@PremierMinistre). The Foreign Ministry also manages the @Canada account which acts “as a shop window for everything that makes Canada the best country in the world”.

Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Harper was the fourth world leader to sign up to Twitter in July 2007 in the footsteps of @BarackObama, however he only started to tweet in September 2008 asking his followers to “check out the new Conservative Party website.” Although the tweets are written in first person most of the tweeting is done by his staff. He tweets more than once a day, mostly in an informal way, about his vision for the country, his government actions and important days but he also lets followers enter his personal life. His Twitter account is also empathetic when needed, e.g. on the occurrence of natural disasters. During the last Sochi 2014 Olympic Games Prime Minister Harper got in on a sport rivalry with Barack Obama, betting two cases of beer on the win of Canada’s hockey team over Team USA which led to his most retweeted tweet so far: “Like I said, #teamusa is good but #wearewinter. @BarackObama, I look forward to my two cases of beer. #CANvsUSA #Sochi2014”. Prime Minister Harper is not very conversational, only 1% of his tweets are @replies and 9% retweets. The most used words in his stream are: announced, today, #cdnpoli and Canada. Photos and videos are often shared on his Twitter accounts and the most mentioned users are Canadian astronaut @Cmdr_Hadfield and his wife @Laureen_Harper. @PMHarper is mutually following only two other world leaders including the @BritishMonarchy and Russian Prime Minister @MedvedevRussia.

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Stephen Harper

@pmharper

Prime Minister of Canada. Suivez-moi en français à @premierministre.

Tweet analytics (as of November 2014)

Tweets:2,828
Following:222
Followers:585,252
Joined Twitter: 07/11/2007
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 1.25
Retweets: 10%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.38
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 83%
Most mentioned @LaureenHarper (52), @Cmdr_Hadfield (16), @CDNOlympicTeam (15), @BarackObama (15), @JamesMoore_org (14), @JimFlaherty (13), @pmharper (12), @MinStevenBlaney (12), @HonJohnBaird (12), @CanadiensMTL (11)

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Foreign Minister of Canada John Baird

Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird joined the Twittersphere during the 2011 Canadian federal elections. A firm believer in the benefits of digital diplomacy, recently he called on Canadian diplomats to make better and greater use of digital tools. He personally tweets from his BlackBerry, both in English and French, on key foreign politics issues including Ukraine – his most used hashtag, #Iran and #Syria. He tweets about his institutional agenda, speeches and meetings but not without leaving out his passion for sports and the Ottawa Senators hockey team. His stream also features direct mentions of US secretary of State @JohnKerry, former Swedish Foreign Minister @CarlBildt and former Italian Foreign Minister @GiulioTerzi and he mutually follows 25 other Foreign Ministers and ministries. His engagement reached its peak in March 2014 when he directly responded to questions coming from Twitter users via the hashtag #AskBaird. He also used Twitter to help find a kidney donor for his long-time political aide.

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John Baird

@Baird

Canada's Foreign Minister, and MP for Ottawa West-Nepean

Tweet analytics (as of November 2014)

Tweets:3,167
Following:1,976
Followers:40,953
Joined Twitter: 03/26/2011
Language: English/French
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 2.4
Retweets: 36%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.31
Replies/Tweet: 0.03
Tweets retweeted: 62%
Most mentioned @pmharper (49), @JohnKerry (23), @UN (22), @Lynne_Yelich (16), @Baird (15), @ABZayed (12), @carlbildt (11), @FreedomReligion (11), @deepakobhrai (11), @StateDept (9)

First tweet

Foreign Ministry of Canada CanadaFP

The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade started its Twitter diplomacy activity on 9 March 2010 and since then it has been constantly active with eight tweets a day from both the English (@CanadaFP) and French (@Canada_PE) accounts, previously known as @DFATDCanada and @MAECDCanada. The account updates followers on crisis situations that require Canadian aid, newsworthy events involving the department, government initiatives, Foreign Minister Baird’s institutional activity and often linking to relevant information on the department’s website. @CanadaFP engages with other users: 57% of the total tweets are retweets and mentions are included more than every other tweet. Retweets, as indicated in the Twitter policy on the DFATD web site, “happen especially during crisis situations, when time is of the essence in distributing critical information”. Ottawa is turning more and more to digital diplomacy to directly interact with the public: last June 2013 the Foreign Affairs Departments hosted two days of discussions that were live-streamed on its social media channels, including Twitter, to reach and inspire Iranians during presidential elections. The account maintains seven Twitter lists including one with the 115 Canadian missions abroad and one with 49 Canadian heads of missions both of which are constantly growing.

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DFATD Foreign Policy

@CanadaFP

Canada’s Foreign Policy activities are led by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada - Français : @CanadaPEinternational.gc.ca/SocialMedianRT

Tweet analytics (as of November 2014)

Tweets:8,719
Following:1,017
Followers:29,099
Joined Twitter: 03/09/2010
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 13.5
Retweets: 57%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.45
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 39%
Most mentioned @Baird (490), @DFATD_DEV (130), @pmharper (64), @Lynne_Yelich (60), @deepakobhrai (25), @christianparad (18), @CanadianUK (12), @UN (11), @cgc_jcc (10), @NelsonMandela (10)

First tweet