In 2008, Ms Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam, a young graduated female from South Pakistan introduced her expertise on a public presentation « Wake Up on Social Media». There, she explained her strategy, while proposing consulting services from her “NEXT>by Ramla” consulting firm. Twelve years after, Ms Ramla Akhtar had the opportunity to implement, for herself, her Social Media strategy in the context of a crisis she is facing with a mountain minority. It did not work. The congenital defects of her theoretical model were not amended. Meanwhile, no update was brought to an already aged strategy, despite the fast technology and practices evolution.
Sadly, the experience, of her vision, on an actual case, had a dramatic impact on her numerical presence. Not only, did she not reach her goal. But she also created, for herself, non-repairable damages, wasting her intellectual and professional assets. Let’s try to have some highlights on this tragedy. Let’s try to see what she could learn from this terrible series of mistakes.
1. Background for Ms Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam, case study
Before presenting the results of Ms Ramla Akhtar‘s campaign we need get some mandatory background. In 2013, Ms Akhtar, at the age of 33, wanted to start a new life. She migrated from the southern lowlands of Pakistan to the remote region of Northern Pakistan. She decided to be called Rmala Aalam (sometimes Rmala al’Aalam or Rmala d’Aalam). She opened a herbal shop called “BetterBonds by Ramla”, in Gulmit, Hunza. Unable to adapt to the high mountain conditions, being an actual stranger in the middle of the local population, the ethnic and religious differences led to the radicalization of, once, a global citizen. She entered into a personal verbal and written harsh conflict with a family, and eventually with the whole Wakhi community of an altitude valley. On May 2019, she made a calamitous step. She decided to federate the opinion around her private case while implementing, on a full scale, her Social Media model presented of her defunct “NEXT>by Ramla” consulting firm. She was confident her expertise, her connections, her skills of an accomplished writer (what she considered she was) would quick defeat of her weak and low tech targets. Involving foreign visitors was her ultimate mistake. She was numerous times formerly warned to avoid entering into such a negative scenario. She was told she may destroy herself in this endeavour. One year after, the lesson is bitter. Despite thousands and thousands of hours spent behind a computer or a mobile, Ms Ramla Akhtar is effectively cleansed from internet. She has no control on her image, her reputation, or anything else written about her and documenting her methods. The juvenile and candid “Wake Up on Social Media” model revealed to be a devastation for its author and user. This is evidenced by Google and Twitter searches.
2. How Google disavantages Ms Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam
2.1. Ms RAMLA AKHTAR does not rule her name anymore on Google search
On the first Google text page any search on “Rmala Akhtar” will lead to documents produced by the opposition to her Social Media campaign against the Wakhi minority. All her old and strong publications, showing expertise, on different media, her only professional credentials, are now washed away. This is the same situation for the images visible in the top window of Google search. Last line is a link to a list of different ladies named “Ramla Akhtar” on Facebook. It presents no interest for Ms Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam. On the opposite it shows how it will be difficult to rebuild a Facebook image under “Ramla Akhtar”, due to this competition on the same name.
All the results (except one) on the top of Google search image lead, now, to images linked to documents prepared by the opposition to Ms Ramla Akhtar’s campaign. It was the most resilient part of Google search due to the number of ladies named “Ramla Aktar” in the Indian sub-continent. Eventually, this protection was lost, too, and this protective belt fell down.
2.2. Ms RMALA ALAAM does not either rule her name on Google search
The fate of RMALA AALAM, the new name of Ms Ramla Akhtar, is not better than her original one.
On the first Google search result page, “Rmala Aalam” will lead, with no exceptions, to documents produced by the opposition to her social media campaign against the Wakhi minority. Some are documenting abuses professionally, if not legally, unacceptable. There are no old or recent publications found by Google and made by Ms Rmala Aalam. This is the same situation for the images visible in the top window of Google search.
All the results on the top of Google search image lead to images linked to documents prepared by the opponents to Ms Rmala Aalam, aka Ramla Akhtar, campaign. Images of the articles were designed for already showing a message in this Google search.
2.3. BetterBonds shop is in danger on Google search engine
A text search under “BetterBonds” gives no results about Ms Ramla Akhtar’s shop. This name, already widely used, was a bad choice. Branding is almost impossible.
A Google image search on “BetterBonds” give three answers made by Ms Ramla Akhtar vs six for her opposition. This a bad result in a marketing point of view. The bad buzz created by her “Wakhi campaign” is two times stronger than the favorable presentations.
A text search under “BetterBonds shop” gives also 3 vs 6. Actually, it is quite good, while the most interesing answers on Google search are always the top three. Facebook has a poor SEO return. However, Ms Akhtar takes advantage of the fact she is the only one using “BetterBonds shop” name on Facebook and Instagram. This may change… Note that the picture windows is also in the hand of the opposition to Ms Ramla Akhtar’s case against Wakhi people.
A Google image search for “BetterBonds shop” gives a bad result: 4 good answers versus 14 negative ones.
Nobody can compete with the phenomenal volume of the written production of Ms Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam, on Facebook. However, the model or the way this media is used appears to be wrong. It did not promote herself or her business. On the opposite, it solicited a damaging counter-reaction. This campaign was a suicidal one in term of marketing, image and self promotion. It might also have strong negative psychological impacts for Ms Ramla Akhtar and make even more difficult, for her, to live in the region where she migrated.
3. The Twitter campaign of Ms Ramla Akhtar did not reach its goal but troubles the image of its author
3.1. The Twitter campaign of Ms Ramla Akhtar did not reach any audience but reduced the already low attractivity of her account
In September 2019, Ms Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam, decided to spend most of her efforts and her time on Twitter. It should be mentioned that there are no Twitter accounts named: “Rmala Akhtar”, “Rmala Aalam” or “BetterBonds”. As far as it could be determined, Ms Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam tweets under two “anonymous accounts” which ID and bio change frequently. As of September18, 2019, the situation was as follows.
|Creation Date||Creation Name||Current Name 2020/05/23||Tweets|
|July 2015||barefootRamster||GruaAbuseArkive||1 658||73||298||4.40%|
|May 2010||barefootRaRa||CopingWithCOVID||1 180||82||98||6.95%|
Mid September 2019. Ms Ramla Akhtar decided to use her account @barefootRamster (which is, now, @GruaAbuseArkive). We can observe it was not the one of an influencer. It was a non-attractive account. She had 1 follower for 4 followed accounts (73/298). It also showed how it was difficult for her to get attention. Her audience was poor with a 4.4% ratio, Tweets/Followers. Over a period of 8 months intense activity, all these indicators will drop down. Her campaign did not capture any audience. On the opposite, it made her account less attractive as we can observe on May 23, 2020 data.
Before going further, it must be explained that the account @GruaAbuseArkive was suspended on February 2020 by Twitter for impersonation during one month and half. This explains why Ms Ramla Akhtar had to use her second account @barefootRaRa (which is, now, @CopingWithCOVID) with the same consequences, though less damageable because of a shorter period of times.
|GruaAbuseArkiv||7 015||121||608||1.72%||5 357||48||310|
|CopingWithCOVID||2 243||106||138||4.52%||1 163||24||40|
|9 358||227||748||2.43%||6 520||72||350|
On her main account, Ms Akhtar published extra 5 357 Tweets and had to follow 310 additional accounts to gain 48 followers. In other words, she had to follow 6.5 (versus 4 on Sep. 2019) additional accounts to get 1 new follower. Then this a “productivity” of 15% for each new followed account versus 25%, eight month before. As a consequence, her ratio Tweets/Followers dropped from 4.40% to 1.72%. After her campaign, the weak main Twitter account of Ms Ramla Akhtar became a dying one.
Ms Ramla Akhtar did not mobilize any opinion in her favor. In the contrary she lost part of her audience. At least, did she obtain any results from her direct addressees?
3.2.The repeated Tweets from Ms Ramla Akhtar to her direct addressees were ignored.
- Ms Ramla Akhtar got no answers and no likes from her direct addressees.
- Ms Ramla Akhtar got no re-Tweets from her direct addressees.
- The numerous repeated denunciations sent, via Twitter, to Pakistani and foreign police, to governments, to NGO’s, to media etc. did not produce any actions against the person she targeted.
- The help she asked to the French white-supremacist alt-right was ignored.
3.3. The Twitter vacant personal and professional numerical space of Ms Ramla Akhtar was invaded by the users opposing her campaing. Her Twitter professional and personal images are damaged
Result showed below are sorted between “top” and “last” for the full name and, then, for the hashtag.
3.3.1. Ms RAMLA AKHTAR, aka Rmala Aalam, has no control over her name on Twitter
3.3.2. Ms RMALA AALAM, aka Ramla Akhtar, has no control over her name on Twitter
3.3.3. Ms Ramla Akhtar, aka Rmala Aalam, has no control over BETTERBONDS on Twitter
The campaign model of Ms Rmala Akhtar on Twitter with the use of anonymous accounts, if not impersonated ones, did not work. Intentionally provoking reactions and leaving a personal Twitter space empty, without any barriers, is a design error . Ms Ramla Akhtar image and reputation on Twitter is built, for years or years, by those to whom she opposes. Not Twitting under her real name or her “official” alias, an option not open anymore, was a strategic mistake which wasted months of work and efforts.
4. Other results to be considered
Numerous Social Media were also negatively impacted by Ms Ramla Akhtar’s campaign. These negative impacts can be found on these different media using “Ramla Akhtar”, “Rmala Aalam”, “BetterBonds” and “BetterBonds“keywords or hashtags.
Despite the work done and the time spent, Ms Ramla Akhtar campaign resulted in no tangible actions against her targets. She did not even affected their e.reputation and image. Adequate prophylactic methods have been implemented as it would have been the case for any campaign managed in such a way. This might be detailed in an additional article. Meanwhile, “Teachings for Ramla“ can be taken from this experience.
- Never engage into a public negative campaign against any target. You never know who you will find on your path. Don’t underestimate how an audience or addressees can be bored by repeated unpleasant messages.
- Understand that Social Media audience is attracted by scandal but that its interest soon vanishes. There is absolutely no solidarity to expect from this kind of audience.
- Don’t under-estimate the price to pay for building and using Fake News or conspiracy theories, even if they seem to be efficient on Social Media. Smart people are not naive and they may feel offended when they understand they are manipulated. And you need the support of smart people. If possible, it is the best, people smarter than you.
- Never overestimate your theoritical knowledge. Stay in a learning process from your actual experience in this always changing world . Question, especially, again and again, your SEO expertise. Never stop being alert on this topic.
- Protect your image. Build a numerical fortress for your name and/or your brand. Learn how to counter an offensive against your image. If you can, try to find how to decide (Yes to DECIDE) what Google search engine shows about you and people you want to protect.
- Don’t believe volume (i.e. harassment & stalking) will help you to succeed if you do not have quality and clean information with a strategy using the proper channels. Otherwise you will waste your time dumping your efforts into a sewer.
- Last but not least, NEVER consider your cause is valuable enough for allowing you to bypass the article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.