- President Cyril Ramaphosa's Twitter usage is rather erratic, but it has grown a lot since he became President
- He doesn't tweet much, but when he does, he posts long threads of messages which earn him thousands of followers at a time
- Trevor Noah is still the king of South African twitter, with 8.65 million followers
Following Cyril Ramaphosa's election to President of South Africa, his Twitter account jumped from 19 600 followers to a staggering 176 000.
This may not seem like a significant fact in the grand scheme of governing a country, but Twitter is the social network that South Africans use regularly for political discussions, and having a president that uses it is a welcome change.
Jacob Zuma's personal Twitter account was last updated in 2013, though @SAPresident has since been deleted from the social network.
Ramaphosa’s Twitter is also growing faster than the accounts of Malema, Maimane and ‘Minister of Social Media’ Mbalula, but he doesn’t post one update every two hours.
Instead, Briefly.co.za learned his tweets are staggered, erratic and, in social media terms, not engineered for growth.
Global politicians have used tweets at important moments to reach a vast number of people, and remain in the internet’s collective consciousness.
Of Twitter’s 30 most favourited tweets ever, more than two-thirds were posted by politicians, and just six of Twitter’s 30 most retweeted posts were created by politicians.
At the end of the 2018 ANC National Conference in December 2017, Ramaphosa created a 66-tweet long thread detailing his feelings as the new president of the party.
“This for me is a deeply humbling moment – for the first time to be given an opportunity to address the closing session of the 54th National Conference of our beloved movement, the ANC,” he began.
Earlier in February, he posted a nine-tweet long thread about the future of Jacob Zuma, but followers aren't worried about Ramaphosa's erratic behaviour on Twitter.
In fact, Ramaphosa gained more than 15 000 followers on the final day of the Conference alone. An additional 8200 hit the follow button after he made mention of those controversial but “constructive” talks with Jacob Zuma. And finally, on SONA 2018 day, Ramaphosa gained an additional 17 400 followers.
However, Ramaphosa still isn't the king of SA Twitter. He's dwarfed by the likes of Trevor Noah (8.79-million followers), AB de Villiers (5.62-million) and Bonang Mathemba (2.62-million).
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