Kenyan president Dr William Ruto has been named the most influential African leader on Twitter in 2022.
This is according to BCW’s Twiplomacy, a digital diplomacy initiative by the strategic communication agency, BCW Global.
The announcement is detailed in the 2022 World Leader Power Ranking report by BCW.
President Ruto has been ranked position 13 worldwide, and third among the new world leaders.
He is followed closely by Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s President and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.
Globally, presidents Ramaphosa and Museveni rank 18th and 29th respectively. The results are obtained by using a ranking algorithm that has been designed to establish influence on Twitter among a particular list of account handles.
From October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022, Twiplomacy’s algorithm analysed data, considering mentions, tweets, retweets, reach, impressions, follower changes, likes and follower count.
It then applied additional variables such as gender, age and length of time in office to give further context and understand influence factors.
Other factors considered included authenticity, human language, quick reaction times and a sense of humour or flair, which break away from the formality of traditional diplomacy.
Other leaders ranked among the top include Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who has made it to the top 10 global leaders and Chilean President Gabriel Boric, with both being praised for engaging audiences with shorter, more emotional content.
The report notes that while President Zelenskyy’s rise is driven in part by widespread support for Ukraine in the wake of the war with Russia, he would have still made it to the top 15 because of his “distinctive, raw Twitter personality and skilful use of the platform.
Globally, Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister was announced as the most influential world leader, with U.S President Joe Biden coming second and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan taking the third position.
While commenting on the report, Jillian Stead Jones, Director and Digital Adviser for Twiplomacy said, the algorithm uncovered engagement metrics like retweets as the indicators contributing most to influence, which also power a leader’s reach.
“This signals a shift from the popularity contest of the last decade to a more earned approach, powered by people – and to some extent, an updated algorithm that rewards active participation over passive consumption,” said Jones.