This article’s title has taken you by surprise. Hasn’t it? Well this was intentional. There are some problems that are easily solvable but so far current government has not taken them seriously. One such problem was the inability to take over the official twitter account of Government of Punjab from previous government. The account was reportedly deleted or switched with a new account as highlighted by The News.
Since government yet has to announce their official stance on the matter whether they have initiated any inquiry with twitter to get their account back or if they have made any progress in apprehending the culprits, we can rightfully assume that they are not very serious about getting the account back. As pointed out by TheNews in a follow-up story on the chances of getting the account back, Buzdar government only has a maximum of 2 weeks left to reclaim their account followers and data.
It is imperative to understand the importance of getting that account back from money, time & communication perspective.
One of the many ways to advertise on twitter is going with “Cost Per Follower” option where every time someone follows your account, twitter charges you a certain amount depending upon many parameters. But it is a well-known fact that getting followers on twitter is one of the most expensive kind of user acquisition in the world often going as high as $4 per follower. This particular account had over 226K followers. Even if you equate per follower cost in Pakistan on a meager $1, acquiring same number of followers would cost anyone over 25Million Rupees.
New account was created on 25th August and probably got switched on 29th or 30th August. It now stands at 448 followers during the last 14 days. Hypothetically, with current speed, it will take them 19 years to amass same amount of followers. Last government took 5 years with all those paid advertisements in newspapers and electronic media to acquire that many followers, so realistically they may require almost equal time & promotion to get to that level.
As we all know that current government has put an embargo on spending tax payer’s money on advertising in main stream mediums like TV and Newspapers. Twitter emerges as the ultimate beneficiary due to the sheer number of politicians, activists, bloggers and other influencers using it on daily basis. It is the ultimate communication vehicle where government can not only relay information for free but can also get instant feedback that often results in better decision making.
Not getting serious about getting that account’s actual user-base back is downright criminal negligence on behalf of the infant government. And if there were any progress, know there are people out there, people like myself and others who understand the role digital has to play in years to come and they are very much concerned about it and would love to have an official statement to console their hearts & minds and develop some faith in you in the process. So honorable chief minister of Punjab, Mr. Usman Buzdar, you have less than 2 weeks to get that account back to its glory. And if God forbid, you were unable to do that, you will only prove to many of us right in doubting Imran Khan’s judgment about your capabilities.