If Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recent Facebook blitz has been aimed at helping him engage with the public, a recent study of world leaders’ social media use by a global PR firm suggests he’s been remarkably successful.
The study, carried out by the firm Burston-Marsteller using data compiled on January 4, examined 512 Facebook pages representing 169 governments around the globe, and found that the page of Cambodia’s self-proclaimed “e-premier” had the second-highest “engagement rate” in the world.
At 1.9 million followers, Hun Sen had far fewer than many leaders, but the engagement rate aims to calculate the public’s level of interaction with a page by dividing users’ post likes, comments and shares by its number of followers. Hun Sen fell just behind recently elected Argentinean President Mauricio Macri, and just ahead of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu in the metric.
The study noted Hun Sen’s recent beach trip photos and said that it was common among world leaders to “share their private lives on the platform”, and that “these personal posts are generally the most popular”.
As if on cue, the prime minister took to Facebook yesterday to reminisce about how he committed to negotiating with the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk in 1988, “although the negotiation at that time met with difficulties . . . because it was better than fighting each other on the army battlefield and making Khmer blood flow”.
Not to be outdone, opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy – who leads the premier by more than 100,000 “likes”, and perhaps epitomises the use of social media to broadcast leader’s private lives – posted a message about his father, Sam Sary, representing Sihanouk at negotiations in Geneva in 1954.