NaMo and the art of ‘Twiplomacy’

Manisha Jha Mumbai | Updated on June 26, 2014


The Prime Minister is the fourth most followed world leader, says study

Be it his selfie after casting his vote, kneeling down to pray before entering the Parliament, or seeking his mother’s blessings after taking over as the country’s Prime Minister, sharing his numerous announcements with countrymen on Twitter, Narendra Modi has emerged as an unofficial brand ambassador for the micro-blogging site in India.

Since his election last month, Modi has become the fourth most followed world leader on Twitter. He has 4,981,777 followers, surpassing the US White House account (4,980,207), according to Twiplomacy, a study conducted by global public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller.

“He is using Twitter as a power tool to broadcast his messages,” the study said.

But what does Twitter have to say about Modi’s towering tweeple quotient in the run up to the elections and after it?

Speaking exclusively to Business Line, Rishi Jaitley, Market Director, Twitter India, said: “He is an innovator on Twitter. Vis-à-vis Mr Modi we took the entire electoral run-up in India very seriously. It wasn’t a side project for us and we made sure that we remained central to the Indian election. We even hired a person exclusively in Delhi in the context of the Indian election. Even since I joined in 2012 I knew elections are going to be a big moment in this country for us.”

Whether it was announcing first on Twitter where he planned to contest, tweeting right after seeking his mother’s blessings, or replying to world leaders on the platform, Modi effectively conveyed that he understands the medium with great depth. That he comprehends Twitter’s specific digital reach, well beyond copy pasting.

“He understands that only on Twitter can you personally directly message your audience and only on Twitter can you break news as you know that every journalist is on the platform and can see your message in two seconds on every channel in India,” added Jaitley of Twitter.

Published on June 26, 2014

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