World Leaders on Facebook

By | 23/02/2017

Do you still remember President Obama’s first Facebook post as @POTUS on 9 November 2015?

This is a place where we can have real conversations about the most important issues facing our country – a place where you can hear directly from me, and share your own thoughts and stories.”

The Obama @POTUS page, including its 3.9 million followers, has been renamed and archived @POTUS44, and since January 20, 2017 the new U.S. President Donald Trump has started with a clean slate. The Donald Trump @POTUS page surpassed one million followers by February 1, 2017.

A study by by strategic communications and global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, now gives evidence to just how important Facebook has become for governments communication strategies. The 590 Facebook pages analyzed in their study represent 169 governments and have a combined total of 311 million followers as of February 1, 2017. In 2016, they published a total of 392,281 posts which have garnered 755 million interactions (comments, likes and shares).

A significant part of Donald Trump’s electoral success in 2016 can indeed be traced back to his focus on communicating via social media. And as this study shows: since his inauguration, he has become the second most popular world leader on Facebook with 20 million followers, half as many as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has close to 40 million followers.

The study produces a few more insights, worth highlighting:

  • 3rd in the ranking is an unexpected candidate: Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has one of the most unusual Facebook page, mainly sharing pictures showing him behind the scenes or on holiday with his wife and grandchildren. His Facebook posts have garnered 58 million interactions placing him third after Donald Trump and Narendra Modi.

  • World leaders tend to share mainly posts with pictures, representing 55 percent of all their Facebook publications in 2016. Twenty-two percent are posts with links to other websites and 12 percent are videos posted natively to Facebook. Only eight percent are simple status updates without any visuals.

  • However, posts with videos uploaded directly to Facebook receive the most interactions. Native video posts received an average of 4,847 interactions per post, including 824 shares, 623 comments and 297 ‘Love’ reactions. The 47,739 Facebook videos posted on world leaders’ pages have been viewed 2.5 billion times with an average view count of 52,000. –> this underscores mc continuous preaching for going the extra mile to produce good video content for social media.

  • The study shows that in particular behind-the-scenes content such as impressions from politician’s family life receive the most attention. The most popular post of all world leaders in 2016 was posted on the @BarackObama page, a family picture of the Obama’s wishing their fans a Happy Easter with 3.2 million likes, comments, shares and reactions.

A couple of interesting statistics:

You can read more results in the full study here:

World Leaders on Facebook 2017 – Full Study

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