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Twitter handle @India owned by a person in China

Jayanta Mallick
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Sure some of the Indian politicians (including ministers), celebrities and businessmen are social media, particularly Twitter, savvy.

But unlike Twitter accounts of the UK, Israel and Sweden, the Twitter handle @India is owned by an Indian living in Guangzhou in China. The account owner shares pictures from his daily life and has made it clear that his account or handle (as it is known in the global tweeting circles) “is not for sale”, a Burson-Marsteller survey said.

The accounts of @GreatBritain, @Israel, and @Sweden are the examples of country promotion on Twitter. “Looking at the findings it becomes clear that few governments and tourism organisations have understood the power of country branding and marketing on Twitter,” said Matthias Lüfkens, head of he Burson-Marsteller EMEA Digital Practice.

Incidentally, Incredible India, the official site for the Indian Government’s Ministry of Tourism does not sport any twitter account.

“There is a huge opportunity for countries to use Twitter as part of their communication to engage with a large and growing audience,” Lüfkens said.

The survey used data collected this month at the Twitter handles of the 193 UN member countries. Burson-Marsteller used Twitonomy (http://twitonomy.com) to analyse tweeting patterns and the Twitter history of each account.

It found that @GreatBritain is part of the ‘Britain is Great’ campaign launched in March 2012 to highlight everything that is great about the United Kingdom.

@Israel is the country’s official Twitter channel, maintained by her Foreign Ministry's Digital Diplomacy team. The account is one of the most followed country accounts with more than 66,000 followers and serves as the focal point for Israel’s government Twitter activity.

The Twitter accounts of @AntiguaBarbuda, @Barbados, @Lithuania, the @Maldives, @SouthAfrica, and @Spain are run by their respective official organisations for promotion of tourism in each country.

More than 30 nations’ accounts tweet an automated news feed broadcasting news about the country.

jayanta.mallick@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 15, 2012)
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