By Jeremiah WAKAYA
President Uhuru Kenyatta is Africa’s 3rd most followed leader on Instagram, a new study has revealed. According to the study conducted by Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, Kenyatta who has slightly over 51,000 followers, comes behind the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and former president of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete, who has over 53,000 followers. Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari came at the fourth place with about 45,000 followers.
THE PEOPLE’S PRESIDENT?
This study would not come as a surprise to many Kenyans on social media given President Kenyatta’s online presence and the seamless accessibility online since he came into power in March 2013. Kenyans had for long been kept off from the presidency atleast on social media. This making President Kenyatta’s style of leadership win the admiration of many Kenyans who for the first time got a glimpse of the happenings at State House as frequent as the President tweets.
The constant updates on the president’s social media platforms whether on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook have often depicted Kenyatta as an outgoing president with images of him mingling with ordinary citizens.
According to Burson-Marsteller, digital diplomacy has been on the rise hence their decision to widen the survey from the highly acclaimed annual study known as Twiplomacy; which focused on twitter to other social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google+. More importantly though is the growing niche in digital diplomacy platforms such as Snapchat and Vine.
Keen to note among these is the county’s foreign affairs handle @ForeignOfficeKE which also featured prominently on the study. An analysis of each separate platform will be released each month in the run up to the publication of the complete Twiplomacy study in May 2016.
Over 305 world leaders’ Instagram accounts were analyzed using Burson-Marsteller’s proprietary Burson Tools on February 2, 2016.