How Twitter as Communication Tool suits Politicians | Insights backed by Studies

In 2012, 3 out of 4 world leaders arrived or are on Twitter. And they unanimously said: Social media, particularly Twitter, is THE way to reach the people these days.

The Study:

A recent study report by Digital Daya, says that most heads of state worldwide are now on Twitter. And they recognized Twitter as a an indispensable communication tool, and over all recognized the opportunities social media holds as an informative and engaging tool.

And that somewhat reflected in the US Presidential Election 2012. When Politicians in the U.S. used Twitter that hard during the presidential election, which resulted in 31 million tweets, by the time elections were over, including the fantastically popular “four more years” Obama photo. The politician who managed to derive a cult status among "Tweeting Politicians" was the New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker. Obviously, those who used it effectively became super stars as well.

Some Numbers:

The Study, while analysing the December 2012 numbers, reveals that 75%, or three out of four heads of state, were utilizing the social media site Twitter. Compared to 2011, this is a 78% jump in the number of heads of state and national governments on Twitter.

Let be a little more discreet:

Below are the number of heads of State on Twitter and the percentage they make for among all Head of States in the world, in past three years:

2010 33 (20 Percent)
2011 69 (42 Percent)
2012 123 (75 Percent)

Below are the number of heads of State on Twitter and the percentage growth in 'Head of States on Twitter' number, in past three years (the comparison is based on the past year. That's 2012 compared to 2011; 2011 to 2010):

2010 33 (20 Percent)
2011 69 (109 Percent)
2012 123 (78 Percent)

The data we have been tracking for the last three years shows an amazing 93% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in adoption of Twitter by Heads of State. Based on these growth rates, the Digital Policy Council anticipates penetration on Twitter for world leaders to be nearing 100% in 2013.

Insights Derived:

The study notes that:

1) Politicians choosing to Tweet is a smart move: The reason put forward is: The digital activism is on the rise and although some governments may view this as a threat, others realize there are benefits to having “direct interaction with constituents”; Hence ignoring Twitter will be to ignore a fast growing and very vocal Citizens.

2) Direct Access: According to the study, what makes Twitter effective, is how it connects a Head of the State or Politician to the citizens. Although this can be a negative aspect of Twitter as well; as unless a politician is vigilant enough, he may miss a message from a very vocal critic (a citizen) who can message by simply sending an @ message to a world leader [although he/she may not see it]; but still knowing what this vocal critic has to say, makes the politician more effective. As listening to such damning voices helps the politician appease the critic and act  accordingly.

3) Address the most vocal of Citizens: People may be very vocal these days; but they have stopped discussing TV in their drawing room conversations  They are vocal more on Twitter and Facebook. Hence with the aid of Twitter a government message has the potential to go viral or reach a worldwide audience.

The Study notes that in 2013 Twitter would become the de facto communication tool for all heads of state.

How Twitter Suits Politicians and World Leaders:

Among the possible reasons, is one which asserts, Twitter allows Politicians and Leaders " Pursuing and Leveraging Inflection Points".

Although, differential calculus explains Inflection Points better; the simple definition definition of Infection Point is : A moment of dramatic change, especially in the development of a company, industry, or market. 

When seen from Inflection Point Perspective, a politician's life is full of inflection points. Since Twitter has tremendous ability to allow a user to connect and to make things viral; Twitter particularly helps the politician effectively manage these points of dramatic change.

Seth Kahan’s New Book, Getting Innovation Right: How Leaders Leverage Inflection Points to Drive Success, to be Released March, 2013, talks about these inflection Points. The book is a real-world, practitioner’s guide and an indispensable resource for driving better results, claims the author.

About the Book:
Innovation is not just a creative approach or new idea. Innovation is about success. If you are only marginally better off than when you started, you have not achieved innovation. To count as successful innovation, your new ideas have to generate measurable gains in the marketplace, for both your customers and your organization’s bottom line. How can leaders focus on developing those products and services that can achieve genuine traction and growth?
Getting Innovation Right provides real-world strategies for uncovering - and capitalizing on - the inflection points that drive potential. A positive inflection point is a decisive, favorable shift in your organization’s relationship to the market. When you identify an inflection point, it means that your firm is poised to supply a unique solution to an unmet need. Expert innovators are able to sense the potential of positive inflection points and drive activity to stimulate or take advantage of them. When harnessed, they propel you forward, growing your base, generating loyalty, and moving you up-market.
To help you uncover and take advantage of these opportunities, Seth Kahan has distilled seven key activities that produce results-driven innovation. The seven activities are:
1. Pursuing and Leveraging Inflection Points
2. Building Innovation Capacity
3. Collecting Intelligence
4. Shifting Perspective
5. Exploiting Disruption
6. Generating Value
7. Driving Uptake
These activities make the difference between leaders who are haphazardly shooting in the dark with good ideas and those who consistently and systematically uncover potential, capitalize on opportunity, and generate traction that drives success in the marketplace. By focusing your efforts around these strategies, you will leverage best techniques and ultimately secure a foothold in a lucrative new space. Most importantly, you will move past the idea that innovation is a culture or mindset, re-calibrating your definition so that it depends solely on outcomes.
Based on Seth Kahan’s extensive consulting work bringing new products and services successfully to market across a wide range of organizations, this tactical approach will help any leader guide innovation efforts, from initial information-gathering to optimal execution.
What others are saying:
“Everybody knows you have to innovate to be a success, but it's easier said than done. Getting Innovation Right is a master class in mastering the current business landscape. Reading this book will give you real-world examples of innovation at work, along with tested templates for action, so you can take your creativity and drive and use them to create exciting products and services your customers will clamor for.”
- Daniel H. Pink, author, Drive and A Whole New Mind
“Seth does it again with his latest book, Getting Innovation Right, by providing a simple approach to attacking innovation. It is having the courage to innovate that will differentiate us from all the rest and is what we all strive for. After reading this book, you will not only have an approach to utilize, but the tools to help you make things happen quickly, and succeed.”
- Michaela Oliver, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Rosetta Stone, Inc.
“In this massively disruptive and mostly distracting business environment, you have but one choice: innovate, or evaporate. But you must get it right, which isn't easy. Enter Seth Kahan's Getting Innovation Right.”
- Matthew E. May, author, The Laws of Subtraction and The Shibumi Strategy
Look for Getting Innovation Right: How Leaders Leverage Inflection Points to Drive Success in March, 2013.
About Seth Kahan
Seth Kahan has worked with CEOs and top-level executives in companies that include World Bank, Peace Corps, Royal Dutch Shell as well as over 40 associations and public sector agencies. Kahan's book, Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out is a Washington Post. He writes online for Fast Company ( His next book, Getting Innovation Right: How Leaders Leverage Inflection Points to Drive Success, is due out in early 2013.

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