The Twiplomacy Top Twenty Twitterati

Top 20 TwitteratiWho are the most noteworthy world leaders on Twitter? Here is our tongue-in-cheek and irreverent Top Twenty Twitterati list in no particular order and purely based on personal preferences by the Twiplomacy team.

@Pontifex@Pontifex

Pope Francis teaches us that social media engagement doesn’t have to be a conversation. Despite only broadcasting, the Pope is the second most followed world leader with more than 19 million followers on his nine Twitter accounts.

@BarackObama @BarackObama Barack Obama was the first world leader on Twitter; he is the most followed, the most listed and is following a record 640,000 other Twitter users. But why is he giving most other world leaders the cold shoulder?

@MedvedevRussia

@MedvedevRussia

Dmitry Medvedev will go down in history as the first Russian President on Twitter and since becoming Prime Minister he has put the entire government on the social network. While he exchanged niceties with Barack Obama and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the beginning, his Twitter activity has taken a back seat since December 2012. The amateur photographer prefers to share pictures on his Instagram account.

@IlvesToomas@IlvesToomas The Estonian President is a ceremonial job and Toomas Henrik Ilves seems to have lots of time on his hands to tweet but he is regularly attacked by trolls. A must read for anyone interested in cybersecurity and European politics.

@AlexStubb@AlexStubb

Former Finnish Prime Minister has learned that Twitter won’t help you win an election and that it is not enough to have several hundred thousand followers if they don’t vote for you. As he once stated on his Twitter profile What you tweet is what you get.”

@CarlBildt@CarlBildt Carl Bildt, the former Swedish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister has not left the diplomatic stage and is now a self-proclaimed entrepreneur in future and peace, happily tweeting about major events and sharing his point of view about Russia and Ukraine. He does tweet himself.


@HageGeingob@HageGeingob

The President of Namibia made a splash when he joined Twitter in 2014 with a series of memorable phrases the best one being « Be a leader not a follower LOL »

@RT_Erdogan@RT_Erdogan The Turkish President is among the five most followed world leaders on Twitter but that hasn’t kept him from lambasting the social network and shutting down the service in his own country.


@NajibRazak@NajibRazak

The Prime Minister of Malaysia is the selfie specialist, personally snapping selfies with his esteemed guests including Barack Obama, François Hollande and Turkish President Erdogan. He is now using a selfie stick for ‘groufies’ with larger audiences.

@Erna_Solberg@Erna_Solberg Kudos to the Norwegian Prime Minister, who is the second most conversational world leader on Twitter and tweets personally despite suffering from dyslexia and making the occasional spelling mistake. We wish she would write more in English and we don’t mind the typos.


@Regsprecher@Regsprecher

Steffen Seibert is the German government spokesman and the voice of Angela Merkel on Twitter. While he is doing a stellar job, he is only her mouthpiece and we would like to hear it from Angela herself.

@LeeHsieLoong@LeeHsienLoong The Prime Minister of Singapore keeps us entertained with his regular #guesswhere cityscapes and fun and engaging selfies even from the hospital bed. Continue to make us dream.

@JohnKerry@JohnKerry

It only took a year for the State Department to let John Kerry have his own Twitter account. Most of the tweets sent by Senator Kerry have been deleted from the account (except the @replies). Our advice: less handshake pictures, less retweets and more personal tweets just like before.

@NarendraModi@NarendraModi No one can ignore the meteoric rise of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his enormous social media footprint. Our prediction is that he will be the most followed world leader by 2017.


@PresidentAZ2@PresidentAZ

The President of Azerbaijan is not really diplomatic when he goes on long Twitter rants lambasting Armenia’s occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and almost declaring war in a tweet.

@PaulKagame@PaulKagame You want a conversational leader? Follow Rwanda’s President @PaulKagame. He doesn’t take any punches and has strong words for his critics.


@NicolasMaduro@NicolasMaduro

The president of Venezuela is the second most prolific and the third most retweeted world leader, averaging almost 3,200 retweets per tweet. Strangely his tweets are favorited ten times less. #Strange

@TaaviRoivas@TaaviRoivas Estonia’s 35-year old Prime Minister has proudly tweeted how easy it is to securely sign documents, pay taxes and e-vote in the most digital country in the world. Next up: cast your vote with a Direct Message on Twitter. #Seriously PS.: He is now wearing a tie on Twitter.


@EdgarsRinkevics@EdgarsRinkevics

It takes a lot of courage to come out on Twitter. The Latvian Foreign Minister has done it.

@HMATomFletcher@HMATomFletcher Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Lebanon has bared it all on Twitter and his blog the Naked Diplomat is a must ready.

By Matthias Lüfkens, who has been monitoring world leaders tweets for several years and will take a break now.