Gov. Ricardo Rosselló secured his spot in a study released Wednesday analyzing how world leaders use social media platform Twitter to engage with each other and their followers after his exchange with President Trump in late April.
Only three world leaders have addressed @realDonaldTrump directly on Twitter to rebuke his policies, including Mexican President Enrique Peña-Nieto; Hilda Heine, the President of the Marshall Islands; and Rosselló, who reacted to Trump’s Tweet saying that Democrats wanted “to bail out Puerto Rico with U.S. tax dollars.”
In late April, as Republicans and Democrats were butting heads in Congress over the repeal of Obamacare, Trump took to Twitter — mentioning Puerto Rico twice — which drew Rosselló’s direct response.
“The American citizens of Puerto Rico deserve to be treated fairly. Health and civil rights are not partisan issues,” said @ricardorossello on his feed.
According to Burson-Marsteller’s “Twiplomacy” study, an annual global survey of how world leaders, governments and international organizations use social media, Pope Francis is the most followed world leader on Twitter with a combined total of 33.7 million followers on his nine language accounts, ahead of Trump with 30.1 million followers and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with 30 million followers.
Twitter is the prime social network used by 276 heads of state and government, and foreign ministers, in 178 countries, representing 92 percent of all United Nations (UN) member states.
Facebook is the second-most used social platform by world leaders, with 169 governments having established official pages. However, world leaders have, on average, twice as many followers on their Facebook pages as followers on Twitter.
Data for “Twiplomacy,: which updated the studies about Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope, was captured in May 2017 using Burson-Marsteller’s proprietary Burson tools, CrowdTangle.com and Twitonomy.com.
Trump is among a very small group of leaders who manage their own Twitter accounts, and his tweets have generated 166 million interactions (likes and retweets) over the past 12 months — including the nearly four months since he was sworn in as U.S. president — almost five times as many as Modi with 35 million interactions.
“President Trump’s unorthodox use of Twitter during the U.S. presidential election campaign, and especially since taking office, has left many governments around the world wondering if — and how — they should engage with @realDonaldTrump on Twitter. Some leaders, such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Pope Francis, have sub-tweeted President Trump without directly mentioning him by name,” the study noted.
“Politics and diplomacy are playing out on social media in a way we have never seen before,” said Don Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller. “With the U.S. president bypassing traditional government channels to communicate directly to his supporters and detractors alike, we can expect more people in positions of power to adopt this practice. Our Twiplomacy study shows how fast-paced and dynamic our communications landscape truly is.”
“The study demonstrates the intense evolution in how world leaders and governments are using social media to reach policy or political objectives,” added Ramiro Prudencio, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa. “This cross-platform analysis provides key insights on social media use in a global, fast-paced, connected, 24/7 information environment.”
The 2017 Twiplomacy study analyzed 856 Twitter accounts of heads of state and government, and foreign ministers, in 178 countries with a combined total audience of 356 million followers. Foreign ministries tend to use Twitter to establish mutual relations. The European Union (EU) External Action Service is the best-connected foreign office, mutually connected to 128 peers.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry is in second position, maintaining mutual Twitter relations with 127 other world leaders. The German Foreign Ministry has 116 mutual connections with peers, followed by the UK Foreign Office and the Foreign Ministry of Norway with 115 and 109 mutual connections, respectively.