Editor’s Note: The article has been cross posted from Anandan Pillai’s (winner of
#CoolestInterviewEver by @hcltech. Passionate about Digital Marketing. Social Media Specialist. Believes in hard work & destiny) blog with due consent.
There would be hardly anyone on this Earth, or may be in this universe who hasn’t heard about the superstar Rajinikanth. He has been amongst us with his exemplary movies, email/Facebook/Twitter/Whatsapp jokes. He once again made it to the news though for negative reasons, thanks to the digital/social media agency that launched him on Twitter for his upcoming movie Kochaidaiiyaan. No wonder, the news spread like wildfire and caught attention of not only Twitter users but also mainstream media.
However, the agency mis-handled this campaign, sadly Twitter India also joined the spoilsport and more importantly Rajinikanth made a huge mistake. Here are the ten mistakes of this campaign that became famous for all wrong reasons:
1. Using the same account that was created a year ago
The account @superstarrajini was created a year ago and the agency conveniently thought to reuse the same account. Little did they think about the history of the handle.
2. Non-personalized first tweet
If you are a true Rajinikanth fan, you would know the manner in which he addresses the audience from his heart. The first tweet looks so crafted and has no personal touch, that Rajinikanth offers to his fans in real world.
Salutation to the Lord. Vaṇakkam aṉaivarukkum !! A big thank you to all my fans. Excited on this digital journey http://t.co/79ea6MrDe3
— Rajinikanth (@superstarrajini) May 5, 2014
3. Automated replies
There couldn’t have been a bigger crime than this. Agency simply started automated replies. This completely defeated the underlying principle of social media. How could the agency afford to even think of automating replies from a celebrity’s Twitter handle specially of the stature Rajnikanth! Have you ever seen Amitabh Bachchan’s Twitter handle doing that?
4. No personal interaction by the superstar
The replies were standard and with no personal involvement and clearly looked to be automated. It would have helped if the superstar was asked to be personally involved at least for few initial tweets.
5. Deletion of tweets
By the time the negative force gained strength on Twitter, the agency seems to have realized its mistake and instead of learning from the mistake, they made another unpardonable blunder of signing up with @Tweet_Delete and started deleting the tweets. Little did they knew that all numbers were already captured by tools and deleting tweets was only going to further damage them. As of this morning all the tweets have been deleted and now it shows just the one introductory tweet from Rajinikanth. Truly, this would have been the last blunder I would have committed had I been at their position.
— Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) May 5, 2014
6. No personalized movie poster
The objective in the replies was to share the poster of the upcoming movie. If at least the poster was customized with the receiver’s name or Twitter handle, it would have more sense, than just tweeting the same poster to everyone. A classic example of personalization was BCCI’s campaign on Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement.
7. No daily/hourly limit ?
Twitter didn’t remain silent but played an equal role in the spoilsport. To the best of my knowledge there is an hourly limit of 200 tweets and a daily limit of 2,000 tweets for an individual on Twitter. How was Rajnikanth’s Twitter handle allowed to exceed this number and yet not blocked?
8. How could verified sign be given so early?
The account that was inactive until hours ago, immediately received a verified sign to assure that new people who became aware of the handle, definitely followed the account. Wonder how did Twitter allow that? Was Twitter all excited about Rajinikanth and least bothered about the malpratices the agency was doing?
9. How can Twitter India promote it?
I just couldn’t digest the fact that Twitter India ran a Promoted Tweet campaign to amplify the reach of the tweet from Rajnikanth’s account, inspite of all the bot type of activities done from that account. I would like to question Twitter, how was this campaign approved? Not only that, the more irritating part was Twitter’s India lead retweeting the above tweet on his personal account. Guys, you definitely lost the respect of millions of social media users in this country.
10. Rajinikanth blindly trusted the agency
This I think was the biggest mistake of the campaign that the beneficiary (Rajinikanth in this case) blindly trusted the agency. This clearly shows that in a country like India not only an agency but a platform of the repute of Twitter can be manipulated for personal benefit, as long as the other party is paid.
This instance should be a strong learning for all clients (be it individual celebrities or organizations) that its high time you all educate yourself before landing at the doorstep of an agency. At least have some basic knowledge of the media channel you think to leverage.
This campaign is an exemplar of how an agency can s***w your brand to the core.