An international consultancy firm, Burson-Marsteller, conducted a studied entitled "Twiplomacy" and determined that Pope Francis is the most influential diplomat on Twitter. This is the third year that the Twiplomacy study has been published by the firm.
The leader of the catholic church has more than 14 million followers if you combine his 9 profiles, each in a different language. It is worth noting that the number of followers is not equal to the level of influence, and the Pope beat out Barack Obama who leads in terms of amount of followers, with more than 40 million.
Although Pope Francis has less followers, he creates a larger impact with each of his posts, which are estimated to be shared (or retweeted) ten times more than those published in President Obama's profile.
Another interesting facet of the study was the presence of Latin American leaders. Argentina's Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has the most followers in this group, followed by Columbia's Juan Manuel Santos, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Brazil's Dilma Rouseff, and Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro. These leaders follow each other on the network, and frequently interact through social media.
Just between 2013 and 2014, an increase of 28% Twitter accounts used by the government has been observed, a tendency which has also been found to occur in Facebook and other social media. An active profile used by a politician or government agency can be a way for citizens to monitor diplomatic activities.
Burson-Marsteller is a public relations and communications firm located throughout 81 countries and is considered one of the top in its field.