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Mikheil Saakashvili’s Growing Outreach on Facebook
Acknowledging Saakashvili’s continuing influence in the political arena is evident now more than ever when you look at his influence on Facebook. Since he stepped down as President on October 27, 2013 even though he has distanced himself from the Georgian political forefront, his influence on Facebook according to social media analytics continues to gather momentum. Evidence of his increasing Facebook online presence is demonstrated by the number of followers gained over the past 6 months; 207,000 to 300,000 followers. Maintaining his visibility in the Ukraine is a key contributing factor to increasing Saakashvili’s Facebook reach to over 700,000 users.
In contrast, Russian business tycoon, Bidzina Ivanishvili has resorted to using his considerable financial resources to obtain followers on his Facebook page. As analytics indicate he has gathered followers from more remote locations such as the Philippines (4907 Followers) and Brazil (6960 Followers). What a disappointment to those followers to see that Ivanishvili removed his Facebook page after shifting to the public sector as a “citizen”.
Ivanishvili’s successor Irakli Gharibashvili, the current Georgian prime minister followed the same pattern established by Ivanishvili and obtained his Twitter followers by untoward means; 50% are fake or suspicious accounts and the other 16% are inactive.
Looking at the big picture, after a review of Georgia’s politicians social media presence, it’s been determined that Saakashvili’s page has the most local followers in Georgia. He also has the most number of followers among politicians in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region at this moment.
By Nikoloz Bolkvadze
An Independent Social Media Analyst