My position: I am dismayed by how this twitter thing is going. I thought having a professionally run twitter would be preferable to having Zac do it. But at this point, I'd rather have Zac twittering boomshakalaka once a day to this. Though at least now there aren't as many typos? That's something I guess.
And that is a social media sin of the highest magnitude.
Their actions seem to reverse his brand and maybe worse undermine career goals by establishing the wrong style of online presence. I've actually seen people say they are unfollowing him. They can't take it seriously. And the person who is running it now (and it definitely isn't Gina for a fact), is not familiar with Zac's fandom and it shows. How do they not know Zefron.com? Kathryn has dealt with fans and all of this craziness for so long, longer than any of us. She knows Zac and Gina. How out of touch is this twitter manager that they didn't think of, or bother researching (aside from searching who on twitter has Zac Efron in their name and a high twitter follower number) to find, the first and most legit source of Zac info. And if they're going to follow anyone, that should be who.
Also it is not reasonable for them to represent this twitter so blatantly as being Zac when it isn't. This is not his thing. And it makes Zac look bad because currently their representation of Zac is banal and self-congratulatory. This style of twittering is bad enough were they to stick to the third person but doing it in first person? It REALLY reflects badly. And worse... it's totally not Zac's persona at all. Obviously going in, knowing it would be a professionally run twitter, it's automatically less Zac's style but this is so far off-base as to be laughable. And if he keeps forgetting this whole experiment and saying that he doesn't have twitter still, it really makes no sense to be writing in first person. We can say all we want that other actors RT fans and suck up, but they really don't. Especially ~srs bsns~ actors that Zac looks up to. Whether it is Joseph Gordon Levitt, whose twitter (though for his company) is very personal and busy, or Leo, whose is more reserved, none of them are like this. Even ones more in Zac's position, like Channing, don't go
Anyway, I could go on but those are my main problems. And you may disagree with me or you may not understand my concerns. That's okay, but I think it is something that needs correction as soon as possible. It really does make a difference.
I haven't been posting in eternity, or actually ever but today's activity on "Zac Efron's" social platforms, got me going and I had to get it out. Feel free to disagree but this is how I feel.....
It's clear that someone new is running his social platforms now. I can't say I'm thrilled though.
I find what they tweet/retweet pretty embarrassing. That "Do you believe in soulmates? Please retweet this new still..." has the maturity level of a 12-year-old Zanessa fan saying "RT this you believe that Zac & Vanessa belong together and will reunite soon." I get that this is for promo but the way the tweets are done is just so immature. Asking for a RT is bottom-of-the-barrel for Twitter etiquette.
All the self-congratulatory and self-praising retweets (or visible replies) is just embarrassing and shameful to me. And it's so not Zac who has always had a more downplaying/understating approach and not publicly patting his own back.
I also find the concept of following fan accounts not a good idea in general: it puts the "Zac" account voluntarily in the same category as Bieber, "Disney stars" and D-list celebs. Real actors and stars don't follow fans. Why would you want that at Zac's state of his career?
I get that this is for TLO promo but right now, that account is basically pandering to a group of people (the dedicated fans) who have already decided to go to his movie; there is no additional selling beyond some informative posts and a bit encouragement necessary to them. The insane amount of fantwitter and fans who is now begging him for a follow or declaring their undying love 2416874651 times are not new fans (as a side-note: there are a few reliable sites who got followed without asking - I don't mean those); yes it creates some activity and love from existing fans but at which price? Because at the same time, this vapid catering to the t(w)eens is alienating the adults who might be looking at his tweets and think, "idk if I want to follow/be a fan of this teen star." If you want to have more adult fans, the account needs to behave like it and not like its target demo are 12-year-old Bieber fans.
The entire behavior (incl the fan following) is short-sighted imo. Once The Paperboy & the Bahrani movie come around... interested adults might look at his Twitter and not take him serious because it looks like it could be a DCOM star. It surely doesn't look like a grown-up actor you want to and can take seriously, and you can't just change from one day to the next and say I want to be treated like an adult now if you behaved like a twitter-obsessed teenager before.
Interesting tweets/content will get you the sympathy and interest from maybe-fans or not-yet-fans but not spamming peoples timeline with mindless (and content free) chitchat with fans (and they are tweeting way too much for a celeb account right now as well).
And that doesn't even address the fact that I totally expect them to start impersonating Zac (they already have on FB). Which does not only make Zac look like a hypocrite but also does completely go against his long-stated wish that he thinks there should be some mystery, him wanting to keep his privacy and hence not having a Twitter or FB (and he said that only 2 weeks ago again in Italy). Them tweeting in 3rd person is ok, and even if he would stop by on special occasions for a few special tweets (and it's made clear that it is Zac versus his team doing the regular tweeting; like have him sign his own tweets), but once they start impersonating him - the idea of him being not accessible all the time and being a mystery is gone. It doesn't matter if it's not him tweeting - the public perception of him being private is destroyed and can't be undone once it happened.
Plus, the retweeting of all the praise and love as "I" would make him look super-shallow and self-centered. Also, if that person is tweeting in his name... it gives him zero personality (something he's already struggling with recently in interviews if we're being honest) - one more reason for people to hate on him instead of start liking him. He used to have much more charisma and energy in interviews but now he's more and more on autopilot and comes across as having little personality and interest unless he has someone to play off from. And these paint-by-the-number cheerful but bland tweets will not help but hurt imo.
In summary, I think the current tweets and following fans is very short-sighted and panders to his existing fanbase of young girls but sort of prevents gaining new, more grown-up fans. I don't think he should alienate his existing fans but the recent tweets will do exactly that with general people on twitter. I know, I would never follow his account as it's run right now if I wasn't a fan already (and I'm rolling my eyes at least at every other tweet).
His current follower #s are sort of embarrassing already if you compare him with other stars but the current tweet behavior is surely not attracting "normal Twitter users" (non fans) which imo are the ones he needs to increase his count. Most of the fans are already following or would be following anyway once they know about it. So, we're back again at the same thing... wrong approach by pandering to t(w)een fans.
Yes, use the account to promote TLO (that's what it was created for) but do it in a mature and smart way, so it appeals to grown-up people too (who are not fans per sé) and doesn't make him look like a self-centered and desperate teen star with little personality and intelligence.
The problem is that the people running the account represent Zac and right now, they create an image of an annoying and self-centered teenstar but not an actor who wants to grow up and be taken serious.
Since they probably will go forward with this approach, I only have ONE wish. That they will make all future posts/tweet in 3rd person (or neutral but not 1st). It's bad enough when these insipid tweets/FB posts are coming from his people but if it's from "him" it will make me want to quit him.
My response on twitter to ZacEfron_News after JB's post
@ZacEfron_News I can't speak for @jeezbee, but she's out shopping so fwiw, I don't think she is saying you begged his twitter. You didn't. You just had Zac's name in your twitter handle and had a high follower count. But once "he" started this, it just became a torrent of obsequiousness. I do know she would include you in reliable sources as well.
But idt she feels like any of us should be followed (except, imo, Kathryn). I personally, at this point, would rather not be followed because I think it is becoming a joke and meaningless. Being praised by Christian McKay will always be a high point to me because he recognized me for my hard-work and value, not just because he was naming/following fans helter-skelter. Being mentioned or followed by @ZacEfron unfortunately is a pretty hollow gesture.
Like you, I just want to focus on Zac, especially his career. I've never done this to get the most followers or attention from Zac or anything, to a point where I generally leave off his full name on purpose, just so I don't get false interest. I could've done it, but I wanted fans looking for quality and thoroughness not quantity or loudness. And I've felt pride in what I've provided overall and and joy in the people I've met and also that in working for so long to keep a focus on and a discussion going about his projects, somehow we, as a community, helped him. That by providing serious info and research, not just gossip about prurient details of his personal life or just blind fawning over him, that we were steering an online discussion about Zac in a way supportive of a positive, upward, and maturing career-trajectory.
But now I feel like all of that is becoming totally undone with this coarse and poorly-run twitter. TBF, some of his career choices haven't helped either but that's another story. You know how much I opposed a twitter as well, but I certainly thought a managed one would be better. I am dismayed at how wrong I was.
They are utterly and totally tone-deaf to his brand and his fandom.
Her response to me
@ehs_wildcats TY, I couldn't agree more with everything you said. And THIS - "it is becoming a joke and meaningless" - basically sums up exactly how I feel about the whole thing. Zac's twitter could have been useful for promoting his movies, if it was done the correct way. It's a mess and is being so mishandled. But I agree completely with what you said.
Let's hope for changes in the very near future before too much damage is done.
It baffles me how they have gone about this in such a poor manner, when they have the resources to utilize the social media in a productive way. They should be informing us about his appearances (on television, etc.) and his promotional schedule, instead of us having to search for it and then hoping the information we post is 100% accurate.
I was out last night hosting a party when all of this was going on with the Zac twitter following people and then RTing items, so I was not fully capable of seeing exactly what was happening and the chaos on twitter it was creating. At first I was happy to be acknowledged, being that it is being run by someone on his team. But when I got home and saw the remnants of the hurricane I was disappointed, especially seeing some of the other accounts that were followed. It's like you said - "it's meaningless" at this point. (And not to sound crass, but I don't want to be 'lumped in' with some of those other twitters. I want to be known as a reliable source for information about Zac and not a site that spams the same information over and over and over.)
Being followed by the Zac twitter has brought about attention, which I don't welcome. Some are assuming I can somehow get Zac to see them or pay attention to them and they want me to give them a shoutout or follow them.
His social media as a whole is not being handled well. I think when you discovered the WhoSay and Twitter, etc. we were disappointed about the twitter, but we had hopes that something good would come out of it, but it's been the opposite. However, I never thought that it would be as bad as it is.
One last note: None of this is intended as an attack on Zac. If anything it is in defense of him and his future success. Personally I see the way Zac's twitter is going now is more an attack on Zac than any of this debate.
ETA: I wanted to add two brief points, one from the comments and one I've been thinking about for a couple days.
1) This was in response to ccmskatechick (her comment in italics):
And doing social media in a half assed way is no help to ANYONE. You're better off not being in the space at all.
Exactly. Badly done, it just opens you up to problems and contradictions. I said it privately to someone but it comes down to this, they need the twitter to represent the actor he wants to become. Not the actor he was five years ago. And right now, without deliberation and strategy, they're stuck in the past and broadcasting it globally. That's far worse than just letting his actions, films, and growth speak for themselves.
2) Retwittering fan photos. It's a nice idea and can be okay. But how many times have we heard that Zac's asked people not to post their fanpic online? As a fansite, I do post some. Clearly ones during promo/work are fair game and some during his downtime I make exceptions for. But for a professionally run twitter, especially since it has a much larger audience... you have to be stricter. And I'm not confident that this person, so not acquainted with Zac or our fandom, gets that to Zac there is a difference between a fanpic outside Subway vs. a fanpic at The Today Show.