India’s Mediated Public Diplomacy on Social Media: Building Agendas in South Asia

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Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Annual Conference

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Toronto, Canada


One tool in India’s mediated public diplomacy is the increasing use of social media platforms to build agendas among foreign audiences. In 2017, the Indian government ranked seventh in the world in its use of social media for diplomacy and had more than 1.2 million users following its diplomatic accounts on several social media platforms. Despite this high ranking and a sizable following on social media, little research has been done to understand India’s mediated public diplomacy through Twitter and Facebook. To address this literature gap, this study examined: (i) the agendas the Indian government builds on its social media accounts and (ii) the rank order of these agendas with the perceived agendas of the followers of these accounts. A quantitative content analysis of 6,000 tweets and status updates published on the 15 Indian diplomatic accounts along with a survey of 500 followers of these accounts were conducted. Results showed that politics, culture, economy/finance, and infrastructure were the top-ranked agendas of the Indian government on social media. These agendas rank ordered with a few top-ranked agendas for followers which were education, health and medicine, environment, economy/finance, and infrastructure.


Journalism and Mass Communications

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