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International organisations have devoted followers on Twitter

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MUMBAI: If you thought only the people in the showbiz are active Twitteratis and have got fan following, think again. Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, released the latest edition of its “Twiplomacy” (http://twiplomacy.com) study that reveals that international organisations and their leaders have a good fan following on the social networking site too.

The study shows that all leading international organisations have a Twitter account, and half of their leaders have active personal accounts on the social network.

Some of the surprising revelations were: United Nations Children's Fund (@UNICEF) is the most followed international organisation with more than two million followers. @UNICEF is also the second most effective organisation after the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (@CERN) because both organisations’ tweets are retweeted on average more than 100 times.

The heads of the Arab League, the IMF and NATO are the most followed heads of international organisations on Twitter.

Those international organisations who signed up to Twitter in 2007 and early 2008 are also among the most followed today. Five of them have more than a million followers each, namely @UNICEF, the @UN, the World Economic Forum (@Davos), the UN Refugee agency (@Refugees) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (@WWF). All international organisations combined have a total of 18,325,589 followers.

“Understanding the use and application of social media is now essential to effective strategic communications efforts,” said Burson-Marsteller’s Worldwide Chair and CEO Don Baer. “Our Twiplomacy study has become the industry standard for advancing that understanding and is a prime example of what we mean by Burson-Marsteller, Being More.”

“This study illustrates how organisations can use Twitter in a novel way with the innovative use of hashtags, Twitter Q&As and direct message campaigns that can make a big impact regardless of the number of their followers,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa. “It is interesting to see that while half of the heads of international organisations have personal Twitter accounts, few tweet themselves.”

The World Economic Forum (@Davos) and the @GlobalFund have recently run direct message campaigns, reaching out directly to their most influential followers on Twitter to push their reports and campaigns. They are also among a handful of accounts which allow any follower to send them direct messages, effectively opening up a new two-way channel of communication.

“Credit goes to the social media managers in each organisation who are often alone to manage an organisation’s Twitter account and other social media platforms on top of their day job. Organisations that put more resources into their digital communications are the ones who will be most effective over the coming years,” remarks Burson-Marsteller’s Digital Practice Leader EMEA and author of the report Matthias Lüfkens.

The complete analysis of these findings can be accessed at: http://twiplomacy.com

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