Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat: The Pied Piper of Twitter (Author & Management Guru)

Here comes the final installment of “The Pied Piper of Twitter (Author & Management Guru)”. As per Jan 30, 2014 PinStorm ranking, @Chetan_Bhagat stands as the 22nd most influential Indian on Twitter. He’s the first author and management guru on the list; clearly way ahead of @AshwinSanghi who enjoys the 100th rank.
On Nov 4, 2013, Chetan Bhagat thanked his follower base of 2 million people and today he has a follower base of 2.2 million.

When one takes a closer look at his tweets, it’s evident that Bhagat believes that Twitter is one of the most powerful platforms to express views, gauge audience sentiments and create online engagements. As an author, he had created a middle-class youth icon image; but on Twitter, he is more open to expression rather than further strengthening his brand image. His tweets are honest, forward-thinking, sarcastic, witty, humorous and bold! Many a times he has faced criticism for his politically incorrect tweets and audacious style. Unlike many who prefer being diplomatic on the Social Media, he stands out to be the one who has  firm opinions; for instance, he has been vocal about his views on the LGBT or freedom of speech on the Social Media and so on.  In the recent times, he is tweeting heavily on politics, current affairs and economy. At a few instances, followers have reminded him of having a life beyond politics!

He uses Twitter to promote his blogs and columns (now television shows too), promote his films, promote brands he endorses and promote social causes. All this is just enough; seems informative rather than salesy (excluding Kai Po Che promotion; it seemed a bit overdone!). Occasionally he updates his whereabouts, a few slice of life events and some random thoughts. He engages with his audience by creating quick polls and Q&A sessions.

Language of his tweets is simple, yet witty. They certainly have a mass appeal and are highly energetic. His candid tweets reveal that he’s an anti-Congress and anti-RahulGandhi but a pro-NarendraModi. He was a supporter of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal for a while:

However he now realizes that the party lacks vision and has accepted the same! Some of his tweets on the political scenario in India have received a huge response in terms of RTs, favorites and replies. Amazingly, a few not-so-intellectual tweets like “If you don’t follow CB, well you don’t follow CB.” and “Aaj Sunday Hai” also manage a decent engagement rate (well, he’s The Chetan Bhagat!).
Currently, Bhagat follows 99 accounts (don’t know whether that’s nervous at 99 or he just considers 99 as the most powerful two digit number).  Using FollowerWonk we analysed the profiles he follows. ‘Actor’ is the bio word cloud of these users. Interestingly, 50% of these accounts have a follower base of 100 – 50K and remaining 50% have a follower base of over 50K . He has one fan club @TeamCBCB and about 40 people have stated that they are his fans (in their Twitter bios).
And when it comes to criticism on Twitter, just the way any other celebrity does, Bhagat has fallen prey of several criticism; some of them are:

  • #ChetanBlocks trended for sometime in 2009 when he was having a debate with a journalist on books and piracy; at that time he received a few tweets from an account which he did not appreciate and hence he blocked that person who eventually created the trend!
  • On the occasion of Father’s Day in 2011 and while describing pity state of the falling Rupee in 2013, Bhagat’s tweets attracted strong disapproval. He did mention that they were meant to be humorous rather than hurting sentiments of his followers; he gracefully handled the situation by deleting the tweets and sending an apology note to all.
  • A war on Twitter between him and Salman Rushdie, Gul Panag and Narayan Murthy made news headlines.
  • Another interesting controversy is self-explanatory when you take a look at his two successive tweets below:

Well, this is the price a celebrity has to pay to connect with his audience online ! However Bhagat keeps playing his magical pipe and lures his followers; just like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, he’s the magician-marketer on Twitter!

If you liked this post, you will also enjoy reading Narendra Modi: The Pied Piper of Twitter (Politician) and The King Khan: Pied Piper of Twitter (Bollywood).