Select Page

Instagram? What Instagram? African leaders not very effective on world’s largest social media platform

Instagram? What Instagram? African leaders not very effective on world’s largest social media platform

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo is Sub-Sahara Africa’s most-followed leader on Instagram with 431,000 followers. Second is Paul Kagame of Rwanda with 177,000 closely followed by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari with more than 169,000.

African leaders generally lag behind in the Instagram ecosystem. Not only number their followers far less, the number of responses their comments elicit, are also less by an order of magnitude.

According to the 2018 World Leaders on Instagram study by global communications agency Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is at the top of the log with 14.8 million followers. Indonesion President, Joko Widodo is second with 12.2 million and US President, Donald Trump, third with 10 million.

Other world leaders in the top ten are the Pope, Queen Rania of Jordan, and Recep Erdogan of Turkey. The White House and the British royal family also have significant followings.

The BCW study analysed the activity of the 426 Instagram accounts of heads of state and government and foreign ministers, 100 more than in the 2017 study, using aggregate data from Facebook’s CrowdTangle tool. As of 01 October 2018, these 426 accounts have a combined total of 98.3 million followers and published 98,372 posts in the past 12 months which have generated a total of 860.4 million comments and shares.

President Trump leads the rankings in terms of total interactions (comments and likes). Over the past 12 months, @realDonaldTrump has garnered more than 218 million interactions, more than three times as many as Prime Minister Modi who has more followers but only 69 million interactions on his 80 photos and videos over the past year.

However, considering the number of interactions per post, Modi is the most effective world leader on Instagram, with each of his 80 posts receiving, on average, 873,302 interactions. Erdoğan is in second position with 413,934 interactions and Widodo’s Instagram posts receive an average of 411,673 interactions per post.

“This third installment of the BCW study shows Instagram has become the social media network where world leaders garner the most interactions,” said Chad Latz, Chief Innovation Officer, BCW. “What is astounding is that the average size of world leaders’ Instagram accounts is less than half the size of their Facebook pages – with five times fewer posts over the past 12 months. However, all Instagram accounts together total 860 million interactions, which is 162 million or 23% more than the total interactions on Facebook over the same period.”

Since June this year, 15% of the 426 accounts have created Instagram TV (IGTV) channels which allow users to upload up to 60-minute videos in vertical format.

World Leaders on Instagram is BCW’s latest research on how world leaders, governments and international organisations communicate via social media. The research builds on BCW’s earlier Twiplomacy study, which is now in its sixth year.

Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe is represented in Namibia by Gys Reitz of Parrot Communications.


About The Author

The Staff Reporter

The staff reporter is the most senior in-house Economist reporter. This designation is frequently used by the editor for articles submitted by third parties, especially businesses, but which had to be rewritten completely. - Ed.