American politicians seeking to do well on social media may want to take note: one of the world’s best will be in New York this weekend.

Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, will address a sellout crowd of supporters at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, and he’ll do so not just as the leader of one of the world’s largest countries but also as a juggernaut of political social media.

Take a look at the raw figures: Among politicians, Mr. Modi ranks second behind only Barack Obama in number of fans of his official Facebook page (Mr. Modi has 21.8 million and counting). No other political leader is even close. His Twitter account and that of his office are among the fastest growing among politicians and elected officials worldwide. Among public figures who have some political sway, he trails only Mr. Obama, the Dalai Lama and Pope Francis in Twitter followers, with 6.62 million.

Sure, you say, that’s because India has almost 1.3 billion people. Most of Mr. Modi’s Twitter followers and Facebook likes do indeed come from within India.

But his social media success is not simply because of India’s population. It’s the result of a strategy to use social platforms to bypass traditional media outlets and reach supporters directly. India’s online population, an estimated 200 million people, skews young and urban, which could provide an electoral backbone to any candidate or party that secures its support.

During his election campaign this year, Mr. Modi’s use of social media to attract followers and communicate with them was well documented. But his emphasis on using those platforms since his Bharatiya Janata Party won parliamentary elections has resulted in more of an online following. His Facebook page likes have increased by 50 percent since voting ended on May 12.

It’s not just for show. He uses social media as well. Mr. Modi engaged in a round of Twitter diplomacy after the elections by responding to messages of congratulations from David Cameron, the British prime minister, and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

The crowd expected at Madison Square Garden is a testament to Mr. Modi’s appeal online and off: Only a few dozen American political figures have as many Facebook likes from American-based users as Mr. Modi does (163,724). His visit to the United States, which will include a private dinner with Mr. Obama, has its own hashtag: #ModiInAmerica.

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