Social media’s popularity as a platform in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region for political leaders to connect with people is not questioned any longer. This is further reiterated in the Burson-Marsteller’s ‘World Leaders on Instagram’ study, where of the top 10 most effective world leaders, five spots are taken by different Chiefs of the region. Four of the most followed world leaders are from MENA too.
Globally, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken over former US President Barack Obama’s position as most followed world leader on Instagram with 6.8 million followers on his account. US President Donald J. Trump is in second place with 6.3 million followers.
With 3 million followers, Queen Rania of Jordan is on the sixth position.
HH Sheikh Mohammad of the UAE (2.3 million followers), Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey (2 million) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran (1.3 million) take the eighth, ninth and tenth spots.
According to the study, Modi, who has only posted 53 photos during that period, is also the most effective world leader on Instagram, considering that each of his posts receives an average of 223,000 interactions (comments and likes).
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is in second position with 141,000 interactions and Pope Francis’ Instagram posts receive 138,000 interactions on average. At 9.67 percent, the Turkish President has one of the highest interaction rates, which is the total number of interactions divided by the number of posts and the average number of followers over the past 12 months.
Among the other most effective world leaders on Instagram, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran is on the sixth position. Queen Rania, Hassan Rouhani of Iran and HH Sheikh Mohammad of the UAE are on the eighth, ninth and tenth positions.
“Burson-Marsteller’s second installment of the World Leaders on Instagram study demonstrates the popularity and effectiveness of visual communications in the public sector. Leaders around the world are creating online communications that convey global social and political context while also sharing a sense of personality and creativity. Leaders of business and all other sectors can learn from governments’ use of Instagram,” said Don Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller.
Other key findings include:
• President Trump tops the most interactive world leaders ranking with 114,554,016 total interactions. He is followed by Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in second place, with 89,090,894 interactions and then Pope Francis with 45,408,641 interactions
• The Government of Brunei has the most active account, posting on average 16 times per day. It is far ahead of Kuwait‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs which posts 6.6 times per day and Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo who posts 4.7 times per day.
• World leaders have taken to Instagram’s new video feature – sharing video posts has more than doubled over the past 12 months and videos receive an average of 2,027 more interactions than simple photo posts.
The study analyzes the activity of the 325 Instagram accounts of heads of state and government, and foreign ministers over the past 12 months using aggregate data from Facebook’s CrowdTangle tool. As of April 1, 2017, the accounts have a combined total of 48.7 million followers and published 61,281 posts in the past 12 months which have garnered a total of 371.7 million interactions (comments and shares).