United States

The Obama administration is seen as leader in the use of Twitter and other social networks to reach out to new audiences, however neither the @WhiteHouse, nor @BarackObama connect on Twitter with their international counterparts. Obama’s Twitter account accumulates the superlatives: he is the first world leader to join Twitter in March 2007, he is the most followed world leader, follows the most people and is the most listed, but that doesn’t make him the most connected world leader.

President of United States Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s Twitter account became famous on 9 October 2009 when he tweeted “Humbled”, a one word reaction to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. It turned out he didn’t tweet it himself. Until June 2011 the President had never sent a single tweet. The @BarackObama account is a campaign account managed by his campaign staff and not funded, endorsed or followed by the White House. As the 2012 election campaign heated up Barack Obama became more active on social networks and he now signs his personal tweets: bo. The election victory tweet – “Four more years” with a photo of him hugging his wife – was one of the most retweeted tweets ever with over 800,000 retweets. The account occasionally shares his private moments in the Oval Office and often posts photos with President Obama’s significant quotes. @BarackObama has only @replied to three people, @JasonDerulo, @SenatorReid, and @MagicJohnson, and frequently mentions other Twitter users, particularly @OFA. The Barack Obama account is unilaterally followed by 221 other world leaders however he only follows two of them, namely Norway’s @Erna_Solberg and @MedvedevRussia. Despite the millions of followers the account has entered its “lame-duck period” as BuzzFeed pointed out, not nearly garnering the retweets it enjoyed during the 2012 elections.

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@BarackObama


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Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:11,961
Following:649,991
Followers:43,729,474
Joined Twitter: 03/05/2007
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 6.88
Retweets: 9%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.14
Replies/Tweet: 0
Tweets retweeted: 91%
Most mentioned @OFA (160), @obamacare (21), @SpeakerBoehner (20), @nytimes (12), @EPA (9), @TheDreamisNow (7), @billclinton (7), @VP (7), @washingtonpost (6), @WhiteHouse (6).

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Presidency of United States The White House

The White House is among the top five most followed world leader accounts with almost five million followers. Interestingly the White House does not follow @BarackObama; however since June 2011 the President has been more active on the White House Twitter feed, namely participating in a Twitter Town Hall at which President Obama answered 7 of the 160,000 questions addressed to him via Twitter with the hashtag #AskObama. In the run-up to the 2012 election he took part in his first White House Twitter chat, answering questions from his followers. The last one took place on 3 December 2012 when President Obama personally answered questions about the “fiscal cliff”. The White House Twitter account is fairly active sending out an average of 15 tweets per day with 29 percent being retweets of other official White House accounts such as @WHLive, @FLOTUS, and @VP Joe Biden. The White House uses Twitter quite creatively and it regularly posts six-second Vine videos. The account consistently uses hashtags like #GetCovered, and #ObamaCare discussing the new health care plan, and #RaiseTheWage, and #OpportunityForAll, focusing efforts on raising minimum wage nationally.@WhiteHouse is also used for live Twitter chats of other administration officials. The White House Twitter account also has a sense of humour. To lighten up the White House chat around fiscal policy they ‘rickrolled’ Twitter user @wiggsd sending him a link to a Rick Astley song. The most retweeted tweet is a photo-shopped picture of Barack Obama sitting on the iron throne from HBO's "Game of Thrones." Since September 2009 the White House also tweets important news in Spanish on the @LaCasaBlanca account.

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@WhiteHouse


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Peer connections (as of June 2014)

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:14,690
Following:184
Followers:4,980,207
Joined Twitter: 04/10/2009
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 15.1
Retweets: 29%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.11
Replies/Tweet: 0
Tweets retweeted: 71%
Most mentioned @VP (28), @FLOTUS (19), @PressSec (16), @WestPoint_USMA (10), @Cecilia44 (8), @fhollande (7), @USOlympic (7), @KingJames (6), @RedSox (6), @WhiteHouse (6).

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Government of United States The Cabinet

Started on 11 September 2013, the @Cabinet account has yet to develop a large following. The account is managed by the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs, and has just over 5,000 followers. There is very little original content; two-thirds of its tweets are retweets of other cabinet Twitter accounts, such as the @StateDept and other cabinet secretaries on Twitter, such as @ArneDuncan (Department of Education) and @PennyPritzker (Department of Commerce). One recent interesting post is a YouTube video of President Obama walking to the Department of Interior and surprising tourists.

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@Cabinet


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Peer connections (as of June 2014)

Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:579
Following:93
Followers:5,689
Joined Twitter: 09/11/2013
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 1.98
Retweets: 78%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.23
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 20%
Most mentioned @LaborSec (14), @arneduncan (10), @CommerceSec (5), @Interior (4), @GinaEPA (4), @DHSgov (4), @Cabinet (4), @Oprah (3), @Sebelius (3), @CEAChair (2).

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Secretary of State of United States John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry set up his personal Twitter account on 4 June 2008 when he was Senator of Massachusetts and almost five years before heading to Foggy Bottom. On 4 April 2013 he sent his last tweet from his personal account: “Thx for the tweets and for following. W/ my new job, I tweet from @StateDept, signed ?JK. Follow for latest!”. But a year later he was allowed to resume his personal Twitter activity: “It only took a year but @StateDept finally let me have my own @Twitter account. #JKTweetsAgain”, he tweeted on 4 February 2014. @JohnKerry is quite engaging, regularly @mentioning his peers including British Foreign Secretary @WilliamJHague and Swedish Foreign Minister @CarlBildt. He also shares moments of both his public and personal life including behind the scene images from his trips and meetings. His most retweeted tweet was sent during the 2012 presidential campaign when he lampooned Mitt Romney’s foreign policy knowledge: “Mitt apparently had no binders on foreign policy”. John Kerry is followed by 91 other world leaders and is mutually connected with eight of them.

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@JohnKerry


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Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:550
Following:366
Followers:217,885
Joined Twitter: 06/04/2008
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 0.24
Retweets: 30%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.69
Replies/Tweet: 0.12
Tweets retweeted: 67%
Most mentioned @StateDept (36), @WilliamJHague (7), @twitter (5), @USAID (4), @Yale (4), @LaurentFabius (4), @NATO (4), @FaceTheNation (4), @UN (4), @kennycooks (3).

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State Department of United States Department of State

To say that the U.S. State Department embraces Twitter diplomacy would be an understatement. @StateDept was the first official Twitter account for a government institution ever and the first tweet was sent on 23 October 2007. The State Department tweets in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian and Urdu and maintain Twitter lists with its 121 embassies and missions on Twitter. Former Secretary of State Clinton propelled, together with senior advisor for innovation, Alec J. Ross, the State Department towards what she called 21st Century Statecraft. The Twitter account is fairly active with more than eight tweets per day and a consistent use of hashtags: #SecKerry, #Ukraine, #Syria, #Russia and #Iran are the most used hashtags on the Twitter stream as well as thousands of photos and videos. A third of the State Department’s tweets are retweets of other official accounts including @StateDeptLive, the @WhiteHouse, and @JohnKerry. Direct engagement happens through frequent Twitter Q&As. The Stet Department is unilaterally followed by 131 other world leaders and in September 2013 it started to follow 22 other foreign offices as well as Iran’s President @HassanRouhani and Foreign Minister @JZarif, timidly re-establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran on Twitter.

StateDept avatar

@StateDept


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Tweet analytics (as of June 2014)

Tweets:32,529
Following:371
Followers:957,499
Joined Twitter: 10/23/2007
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 8.47
Retweets: 35%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.45
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 65%
Most mentioned @JohnKerry (350), @StateDept (88), @StateDeptLive (44), @WhiteHouse (39), @statedeptspox (27), @VP (26), @AmbassadorPower (25), @UN (22), @PEPFAR (22), @WilliamJHague (18).

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