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Japanese Billionaire ‘Makes It Rain’ To Break Twitter Record

Billionaire shares $925,000 with Twitter users

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has entered the annals of time, posting the most retweeted message in Twitter’s 13-year-history.

In a savvy move to promote his online fashion retailer, Zozotown, Maezawa offered to share $925,000 between 100 randomly selected people who shared his tweet.

The number of people following Maezawa’s account surged from around 500,000 at the end of last week to more than 4.5 million by Monday lunchtime.

The viral marketing stunt saw his 5th Jan tweet retweeted 5.5 million times, liked 1.4 million times, and commented on 390,000. Not bad for two days work.

The organic Twitter reach, media PR value, other social chatter, web traffic and conversions on the Zozotown website, would comfortably cover the 100 million yen to be eventually paid out, and some.

This week’s tweet beats the previous record, set by a Wendy’s nugget addict, who begged the Twittersphere to retweet his post 18 million times. Earning him a year’s supply of nuggets, and probably diabetes.

Viral tactics are good when they’re good, but…

Viral tactics, particularly those tied to incentivised sharing, are great if you get them right, but do have the potential to go rogue. As Mastercard discovered last year.

Six months ago, during the World Cup, Mastercard scrapped a poorly thought through charity initiative. The clever cats at Mastercard offered to donate 10,000 meals to hungry children for every goal scored by Argentina forward Lionel Messi and Brazilian diver, Neymar.

You can’t make these up sometimes.

Even aside from the actual idea and execution, marketers need to be mindful of platform terms of service related to viral campaigns, since they vary between channels.

Tactics Need To Meet Platform T&Cs

Viral campaigns like these, while being OK on Twitter, don’t fly on Facebook. Alternatively, if they do, they need serious tweaking, since Facebook views this type of behaviour as spamming. Which, to be fair, it is. The Facebook guidelines state:

Promotions may be administered on Pages, groups, events or within apps on Facebook. Personal timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (e.g. "share on your timeline to enter" or "share on your friend's timeline to get additional entries" and "tag your friends in this post to enter" are not permitted).

While driving direct user interaction is more important than ever, for those seeking high unpaid reach, there is a line. Platforms are supportive of brands which entertain and inform end users, but using the ‘wrong engagement tactics’ will see both users and platforms throw marketers under the bus.

 

 

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