In Australia it is the prime ministers who have been spearheading the Twitter activity of the government with @KevinRuddPM in October 2008. Kevin Rudd changed his Twitter handle to @KRuddMP when he was replaced by @JuliaGillard and is now tweeting as @MrKRudd. As his predecessors, the new Prime Minister Tony Abbott, sworn in on 18 September 2013, is tweeting from his personal handle.

Tweets from Australia leaders

Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott “took the Twitter plunge” on 2 December 2009 right after becoming the leader of the Liberal Party @TonyAbbottMHR. Prime Minister Abbott tweets on average once a day mostly on his institutional agenda, speeches, missions abroad and shares a large number of photos – over one third of the tweets include a picture – but since his election it is rare to see him without jacket and tie. He is among the top 50 conversational leaders with half of the tweets including an @mention and 21% being @replies. During the election campaign he directly engaged with his followers in Q&A sessions through the most used hashtag #asktony but it has never been used since he became prime minister. The only tweet he favorited is the official group photo with the G20 leaders during the 2014 Brisbane summit. @TonyAbbottMHR is not yet well connected to his peers, mutually following only three other world leaders, namely @David_Cameron, @JohnKeyPM and @NarendraModi.

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Tony Abbott


Federal Member for Warringah

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 12/01/2009
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 1.03
Retweets: 5%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.48
Replies/Tweet: 0.21
Tweets retweeted: 85%
Most mentioned @bridgetabbott (14), @abbott_frances (10), @AbeShinzo (9), @narendramodi (9), @JoeHockey (9), @CarersAustralia (8), @TheTodayShow (8), @johnkeypm (7), @TonyAbbottMHR (7), @mikebairdMP (6).
Average of retweets 53

First tweet

Foreign Minister of Australia Julie Bishop

Compliant with the Australian Government’s social media policy, the first female Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, engages with her audience on Twitter directly through her personal account. An early adopter, she made her debut on the Twittersphere on 14 November 2009, while serving as shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, by criticizing the then Prime Minister Rudd: “Another Question Time where the PM evades scrutiny on his mismanagement of border protection”. @JulieBishopMP is very active tweeting over four times a day, using her iPad and iPhone, about her agenda, institutional commitments and to get her political messages across. Her Twitter feed is quite visual with photos from missions, conferences and official meetings but few behind the scene images. Bishop’s account, which has been hacked in March 2013, is very interactive and engages in conversations with other users: half of her tweets are retweets of other accounts and also an @mention is included in every other tweet. In January 2015 she asked her Twitter followers for help finding her lost earring. Foreign Minister Bishop has also mastered the language of emoji and showed her sense of humor by replying to comments with single emoticons. She was the first politician ever to take part in an interview using only emoji to answer questions.

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Julie Bishop


Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Canberra

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 11/14/2009
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 4.17
Retweets: 50%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.46
Replies/Tweet: 0.16
Tweets retweeted: 42%
Most mentioned @JulieBishopMP (112), @TonyAbbottMHR (25), @WestCoastEagles (25), @dfat (24), @UN (15), @LowyInstitute (12), @latikambourke (10), @LiberalAus (10), @bevanshields85 (10), @TurnbullMalcolm (9).
Average of retweets 18

First tweet

Foreign Ministry of Australia DFAT

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade started its Twitter activity on 7 April 2011 sharing information about the department’s work. The @dfat account is very active with more than ten tweets a day, sharing diverse types of content such as key information on foreign policy and trade related issues, reports, stories from the website, job vacancies, photos with a good mix of formal and behind the scenes images, videos, cultural initiatives, travel and consular services for Australian citizens. 60% of the tweets include a link to a resource. However, direct interaction with other users is limited: only 5% are @replies. #TradeTalk and #G20 are among the most used hashtags. Among the most retweeted users are the Australian Ambassador to the UN @AustraliaUN and Foreign Minister @JulieBishopMP. @DFAT mutually follows 19 other foreign ministry accounts mutually.

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Official account of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade. Follow @smartraveller for travel updates. For consular assistance 24/7 ph +61 2 6261 3305

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 03/29/2011
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 10.34
Retweets: 21%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.81
Replies/Tweet: 0.05
Tweets retweeted: 70%
Most mentioned @JulieBishopMP (241), @AndrewRobbMP (133), @Austrade (69), @dfat (63), @AustraliaUN (49), @AusAWG (47), @SenBrettMason (46), @G20SR (41), @Smartraveller (39), @TourismAus (29).
Average of retweets 6

First tweet