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Spain through the looking glass

Government reigns @spain

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Spain is one of only nine countries worldwide to own its Twitter account.

With @Spain, operated by Spain’s official tourism authority, the crisis-hit country belongs to a select group that includes Israel, South Africa and Sweden, says gloabl communications giant Burson Marsteller.

@Spain pumps out daily travel news for nearly 50,000 followers. This morning’s updates included a link to predictions Chinese tourism to Spain would end 36 per cent up this year and news that the city of Toledo is hoping to sell itself as a wedding capital.

The Spanish government is very active on Twitter and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is one of the few world leaders who occasionally actually bangs out his own Tweets. Around 12 tweets a day appear in his name, with most tapped out by staffers. A large proportion of these (almost 80 per cent) are replies to other people’s tweets and Rajoy’s most popular tweet ever came in response to a question from a teenager who wanted to know about the country’s election program.

‘Fifteen years old?’ wrote Rajoy in his infamous message. ‘Perhaps we should wait just a little before we debate about politics? Thanks.’

Incidentally, Spain is the second most used language (41 accounts) for the 264 world leaders using Twitter.

According to the Burson Marsteller report, the Israeli Twitter feed is the word’s most popular with Sweden coming in a close second. The Swedish account isn’t technically official; the Nordic nation have taken the unusual step of handing over control of the @Sweden handle to a different citizen every week. There have been, as Burson Marsteller euphemistically put it, mixed results (see this BBC story).

Many of the national Twitter handles are in private hands. On Thursday, the Times of India reported that @India was owned by a private Indian citizen living in China who uses the account to link to advertising and has no intention of selling. In line with Twitter policy, several accounts impersonating the Indian Prime Minister’s Office have been shut down.

Incidentally, the authors of the report may want to do a little language research. On their web portal, they state: ‘The owner of @Austria claims to be from Austria and claims to help his followers to “Connect with Austria and Austrians” but he mainly tweets in German.’

The researchers also fail to mention the existence of Twitter handles in languages other than English. There is, for example, a dormant account in Germany called @deutschland while Finland have seen @suomi taken by a Japanese woman who two days ago tweeted ‘I’m Japanese and I have no relationship with Finland. My name is simply is “Suomi”.

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Written by georgemills25

November 17, 2012 at 09:34

Posted in Uncategorized

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