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TWIPLOMACY

These are the most popular international organizations on Twitter

UN headquarters in NY
Reuters/Lucas Jackson
And the most followed international agency is... the UN with 9.7 million followers!
  • Ana Campoy
By Ana Campoy

Deputy editor, global finance and economics

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

International organizations have a social media life too—and some are much better liked than others.

A new report by Burson-Marsteller analyzed the social media accounts of 97 of the world’s international agencies and NGOs for the 12 months that ended in September 2017. The public relations firm has been following how heads of state, diplomats, and international organizations use social media to further their mission in a series of studies it’s called Twiplomacy.

The data from its latest installment, “International Organizations on Social Media 2017,” say a lot about how adept these groups are at tweeting—or how much they paid to promote themselves. They could also be taken as a barometer of the interests and concerns of the groups’ followers spread around the world.

The United Nations, arguably the widest-reaching organization of all, also has the widest following.

But others are adding followers at a much faster pace. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, grew its following by 76%; the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, number of followers expanded by 62%. Are the impressive results a sign of the groups’ Twitter prowess, or of the rising popularity of artistic and nerdy pursuits? The study unfortunately doesn’t go into what’s behind them.

Burson-Marsteller also looked at which organizations are the most engaging. Environmental group Green Peace and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) didn’t make the top 10 list of followers, but they got more retweets and likes than some of the institutions that were included in that ranking.

The World Economic Forum represents another interesting example. With a following about a third of the size of the UN’s, it was able to get twice as many reactions. How did it manage that? Its tweets are powerful, short—60-characters long on average—and include showy visual elements or videos, according to Burson-Marsteller.

It also helps that it tweets a lot, averaging more than 100 daily posts. That’s five times more than the next group on the top 10 Twitterers list, the Asian Development Bank. In contrast, the UN weighs in a measly 12 times a day.

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