It is fair to say that without social media, the work of international organisations would probably go largely unnoticed. All 97 multi-lateral international organisations and NGOs in this study are actively present on the three main social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Twitter is by far the most popular social media channel for these international organisations. Greenpeace and the World Economic Forum have been active on the platform for over a decade – since April 2007 – and UN Secretary General @AntonioGuterres joined the flock when he took office on January 1, 2017.

In this study, we focus on the main accounts for each organization, although many organisations, especially UN agencies, also have bespoke accounts in the six official UN languages and large organisations also have a plethora of regional, national and even topical accounts. With 92 percent of all UN governments on the platform, Twitter has become the indispensable news wire for international organisations to broadcast their stories.

We also examine how international organisations use these platforms, which are the most followed and which are the most active. Beyond the number of followers, we focused on engagement and how these organisations capture eyeballs and screen time of their followers and fans.

The leaders of international organisations tend to favour Twitter, with 75 personal accounts on the platform, while only 16 have official Facebook pages and five of them are among the select group of LinkedIn influencers. ….more