If Africa was one country run on Facebook, it would be pretty easy for Africans to choose a leader. You can bet it would be without the acrimony we’re used to currently.
But how do we elect a leader on Facebook?
There’s no denying the fact that like ordinary Africans, most leaders on the continent also have social media presence. They have pages which are either run by themselves or their handlers. But which of them commands the most following on social media?
Global strategic communications and PR firm Burson-Marsteller has released a new study “World Leaders on Facebook” which looks into how world leaders, governments and international organizations communicate via social media.
The study divided Africa into 2 regions: Sub-Saharan and Middle East and North Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa consists of 49 out of the 54 countries in Africa. And guess who emerged as the region’s social media icon? Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta!
With over 2 million“ followers on the social networking page Facebook, there is a wide gap between President Kenyatta and his West African counterpart, President John Mahama of Ghana who places a distant second with just over 600,000 likes.
But if you decide to ignore the 2 regional blocs created by the researchers for the study, then Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the most popular African leader on Facebook.
He has over 6 million likes.
He was put in the Middle East and North Africa category where he leads the pack ahead of Jordan’s Queen Rania who has 5.6 million likes, and well ahead of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai with 3 million likes.
Obviously, President el-Sisi’s 6 million plus likes puts him way ahead of the Sub-Saharan champ, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
U.S. President Barack Obama is the most popular world leader on Facebook with 46 million likes on his Barack Obama campaign page.
Over the past eight years, Facebook has become the platform of choice for world leaders and governments to engage with their voters and constituents.
As at January 4, 2016, all the world leaders on Facebook had accumulated a total of 230,489,257 ‘likes’ and had published a total of 302,456 posts.
Most interactive President
With 31,954,938 likes, Indian President Narendra Modi has the most interactive fans, with more than 200 million interactions in his Facebook ‘community’ in 2015 alone.
Argentina’s new President, Mauricio Macri, is the most engaged world leader and has become the undisputed ‘Facebook President’ with a double digit engagement rate relative to the number of page likes of almost 12 percent.
The data for the study, which is the first installment of Burson-Marsteller’s annual Twiplomacy study, was gathered in January 2016.