Q&A | Talking Twitter
Talking Twitter with Atishay Agarwal of Rajasthan Royals
Each month, Talking Twitter takes you behind the scenes of some of Twitter’s most interesting accounts with the social media professionals responsible for some of the platform’s standout Tweets and viral moments. This month, we sat down with Atishay Agarwal, head of content for Rajasthan Royals, to talk about humanizing brand accounts, and the feature that’s most underrated on Twitter.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What makes @RajasthanRoyals worth following on Twitter?
The Rajasthan Royals are the first ever Indian Premier League (IPL) champions, and finalists in the season just gone by. What I think has worked well for us is the fact that we dared to go where most Indian brands and definitely no other Indian sports team would go. We are candid, honest, cheeky, self-deprecating, and have an all-out focus on entertainment. It’s been a big effort as we’ve undergone a digital transformation over the last two-and-a-half years, and in the process, we’ve humanized the brand on Twitter, with the “RR Admin” now popular among our fans as well as those of other teams.
We’ve had a few moments over the last two years, from celebrating a win over SRH with Biryani, to trolling ourselves after a huge defeat against RCB, how we celebrated our new players post-auction, to when Yuzi took over our Twitter account!
What’s it like to work in social media in 2022?
Working in social media in 2022 means you finally have a seat at the table, you have an important voice within your organization. I’ve lived through a time when it was the last thing higher-ups wanted to invest in at an organization. The understanding of our jobs was reductive and mostly about “pushing a Tweet” out.
With every passing year, that has changed. Now social and digital actually end up leading most marketing campaigns (at least in sport), affect how we think [about] and plan campaigns, and crucially are seen as a significant revenue generator for the business.
How long have you been in social media? How has the industry changed since you started?
My first ever stint in anything related to social media was back in 2009-10 when I was creating social pages for Goal.com, India. Those were the days of Orkut!
I’ve been in and out since and firmly back in during the last seven years. Digital and social is now not just seen as an inconvenient cost center where we just shell out money for agencies and resources every month purely for “engagement numbers”. Social is now driving significant revenue. Even within the IPL for example, each sponsor for a team has certain monies promised against social media content. There are also an increasing number of content partnerships with brands and IPL teams each season, as brands realize just how much meaningful visibility and recall they can create through content, rather than an ad somewhere on the internet.
The other interesting development in recent years is how content formats have evolved, with short, vertical video now being highly consumed all over the world. Including the vast array of Indian languages into mainstream social media is something we will continue to see over the next decade.
Describe your relationship with Twitter.
Twitter is, simply put, my personal favourite social media platform. I’ve been on the platform since about 2010, and it’s my go-to app for news, entertainment, and community.
What's the most underrated Twitter feature?
I think threads are vastly underrated, particularly by brands. It’s a great tool for storytelling and is used so well by influencers every day. A good thread is very engaging, almost modular, and easily consumable.
I also think Advanced Search is an absolute blessing. It’s fantastic for research or extracting information, especially for those who work in Social.
Twitter is all about the conversation. How do you decide what conversations or replies to engage with?
There are multiple factors at play. First and foremost, can we add value to the conversation? No point in us saying “Agree!” to someone who says “What an innings by Jos Buttler!” We need to move the conversation forward, resolve a query, inform, or entertain.
Secondly, we need to know who we are replying to, to an extent. Is it a brand we would want to engage or connect with? Is the user we’re replying to respectful or abusive? A little look at the profile before replying is something we generally spare a minute for.
Throwing friendly shade at other accounts — yay or nay?
Tough one! Usually nay, but yay if we have been provoked by them in the past, and only after we’ve won against them.
Including more than one hashtag — yay or nay?
Among IPL teams I don’t think anyone uses fewer hashtags than we do, but we still end up using more than one often.
Using emojis to replace words — yay or nay?
Usually nay – words are a lot more impactful. There are exceptions, like a helicopter emoji for when Dhoni goes nuts!
Tell us about a Tweet so good, you wish you'd written it.
There are thousands! In recent times though, I’m loving the work that Venezia FC are doing on the platform. This Tweet comes to mind at the moment. Some of the Tweets from Lake Superior in recent times have been applause-worthy too.
What accounts are a must-follow for you right now?
There are many brands who use Twitter well. Some that come to mind right now are Mercedes F1, Zomato, Venezia FC, Liverpool FC, Netflix India, and AS Roma English, and some of the German Bundesliga club accounts. Other more parody-style accounts I love are The Tweet Of God, Very British Problems, and Boring James Milner.
Share a Tweet from your drafts folder with us.
Oh well, the one we had ready for 29th May this year:
Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2022 Champions.
Hope to publish with a minor edit next year!
Go behind the scenes with some of Twitter’s most interesting publishers and the social media professionals responsible for some of the platform’s standout Tweets and viral moments in the Talking Twitter collection.