Billionaire Buys His Twitter Record

Jan 10, 2019

Billionaire buys his Twitter record

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One of the reasons I’m such a fan of social media is not just so I can secretly* stalk the Kardashians and Meghan Markle, but because of its ability to align passions and unite nations. Whether that’s when a certain fast-food chain runs out of chicken or when brands such as Nike take a stand and show a sense of purpose and loyalty through sparking conversations around racial injustice.

When I heard about Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa knocking Carter Wilkerson (of Wendy’s chicken nugget fame) off the top spot for most retweeted tweet I was genuinely intrigued to see what could have prompted this surge of interest. The fact that the most RTd tweet (to date) had been about chicken nuggets is itself fairly basic, nonetheless, it’s a great example of how social media can bring people together whether for trivial causes (sorry Carter!) or more worthy ones, such as the #metoo movement.

What I was left with, however, was a level of disappointment only found in discovering that Santa isn’t real or that Richard Madden isn’t single.

To celebrate his online stores’ success over the festive period, Yusaku offered to giveaway 100 million Yen and share it between 100 people. To enter you had to follow him and retweet his post to be entered into the draw. The tweet is currently at over 5 million RTs and his followers have grown from around 500k to over 5 million. Free cash equals popular tweet… shock.

I don’t have an issue with competitions, but this now being classed as THE top performing tweet is disingenuous, misleading and should not serve as a source of inspiration. Perhaps it’s naivety, perhaps I’m being childish (it’s not fair!), but why do I care? Why do I have such an issue?

Top performing tweets (in my opinion) have earned their right to be top performing because of the very reasons I identified with above, they engage, unite and drive passions. This is not a TOP performing tweet because it does nothing to ignite authentic conversations and create genuine interactions. He is simply buying retweets and followers, nothing more. The fact that the tweet has gained so much traction and attention is not a surprise, but it does question our current societal traits, is this showing us all up as being greedy and materialistic?

Now, Mr Maezawa said that “a dream”, not the cash was the motivating factor behind the attention surrounding his plan. Well, I don’t believe that and I suspect people around the world feel the same.

Social marketing managers are well aware that competitions and paid promotions can indeed help elevate brands, but this should not be thought of as a good example to achieve long lasting brand fame. It just shows that if you have enough money at your disposal, you too can buy your way into having 15 minutes (and not much more) in the Twitter hall of fame. But we would urge anyone reading to remember that when it comes to building true brand fame, playing the long game is always worth it.

I’m taking my bitter-self off now to ponder what’s actually happening to the internet.

*it’s not secretly

By, Georgie Freeman