The Savagery of Wendy’s Twitter

Since Twitter’s debut in March of 2006, it has exploded. As of April 27, 2017, Twitter has 328 million monthly active users, putting Twitter at the ninth largest social network in the world. What has continued to grow is the number of businesses using Twitter as a way to connect with its customers and promote its business. AdWeek has an entire article dedicated to the ways can use Twitter successfully, including, but not limited to:

  1. Branding and Visibility
  2. Customer Support
  3. Customer Outreach/Feedback
  4. Networking
  5. Internal Communication
  6. Lead Generation
  7. Support Other Online Presences

Out of the 2013 Fortune 500 companies, 377 of them have a Twitter account. In fact, 70% of small businesses are on Twitter. 42% of consumers learn about products and services via Twitter. Clearly if a business is not on Twitter, they are putting themselves at a disadvantage.

Wendy’s & Twitter

Wendy’s, the American, international, fast food chain, takes full advantages of the capabilities Twitter provides and takes it to a whole new level that most other companies do not. Wendy’s is very interactive with its followers. As of 2016, it was the world’s third largest hamburger fast food chain with over 6,500 locations. This makes it imperative to stay as connected as possible with customers.

To do this, Wendy’s joined Twitter in July 2009 and has been dominating the tweet game ever since. Wendy’s does not mess with its tweets as shown by its bio which reads, “We like our tweets the same way we like to make hamburgers: better than anyone expects from a fast food joint.” They have gotten a following of over 2.08 million followers, but this isn’t the first time Wendy’s has been “different”. According to Wikipedia, Wendy’s occasionally had “wacky” ads.

Social Media Examiner’s article “Twitter Tactics to Increase Engagement” highlights different ways to get noticed on social media, and Wendy’s definitely takes advantage of the tip to stick to short tweets. Their short tweets, however, have a lot of power. They don’t need more than a couple words to get their point across and do it so skillfully that it gets attention. So what are these savage tweets I speak of? There are too many to post them all, but here are the most savage of all. Let’s take a look.

 

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Voice Behind it All

Who is responsible for these? The voice behind the tweets is Amy Brown. On her LinkedIn page, she claims to be a freelance social strategist and writer. She is known to call out her “haters”, just as the Wendy’s Twitter does. Although she is not always the one responding from the Twitter, she is responsible for some of Wendy’s most memorable and savage tweets, consistently putting Wendy’s in the spotlight. Her most famous tweet is the following conversation in January of 2017. Unfortunately, Amy is no longer working for Twitter, but she has become known largely because of her previous position at Wendy’s.

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According to sources, 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from the brand they follow on Twitter. This is not unusual. Most would agree that they are more likely to buy from brands that are visible and easily contactable. Studies have shown that 85% of followers feel more connected with a business after following them. The interactive nature of Twitter builds stronger relationships between businesses and followers through confidence and trust. Results show that companies using Twitter for customer service see a 19% increase in customer satisfaction.

The Results 

In January alone, Wendy’s gained 350,000 new followers on Twitter, a 35% increase. This was due to Wendy’s epic Twitter conversation with another user regarding the non-frozen meat Wendy’s uses (See below). Business has followed. One Twitter user tweeted back at Wendy’s after the conversation saying “This tweet won you a sale tonight. Stay clever” with a picture of a receipt from their local Wendy’s restaurant. In addition, Fine Brothers Entertainment that highlighted their savagery on Twitter featured them in a YouTube video. The video received over 3.5 million views in less than a week.

How do they do it? Part of it is their original content. Few other companies have unique and original responses like Wendy’s. Most have generic, unexciting tweets to promote products or events. Another part of it is the thoughtful responses. When a customer tweets at Wendy’s complaining about the quality of their food, they respond kindly, asking the customer to DM them in order to fix the issue. They also take advantage of using visuals to catch users attention. It has been proven that using visuals dramatically increases the click through rate in comparison to posts that only have text.

Wendy’s has successfully made its Twitter presence part of its brand and will continue to dominate in the space. Until Wendy’s next savage Tweet, this little bird is signing off.

10 comments

  1. taylorvanhare · ·

    This is great Brittany! I was laughing so hard at all of those Wendy’s tweets you chose to showcase. I really think Twitter has become a way for brands to come up with a creative voice – with the most successful brands mixing a little humor into their 140 characters. When I was analyzing Starbucks for my blog, I noticed that they have tried to re-brand a little in this way. They started an official account for the PSL drink (@TheRealPSL) – filled with funny tweets on counting down the days until fall, and images of PSL herself – a latte with glasses and hair. Before, Starbucks was only posting curated brand material as well as retweeting customer’s posts of their drinks. Nonetheless, I think Wendy’s is slaying the game in terms of tweets.

  2. Interesting post. It’s definitely a bit of a risky strategy for tweeting, but it seem to be working for them!

  3. camcurrie99 · ·

    Very entertaining and insightful post. Wendy’s strategy is similar to what Brian said in his presentation about the Yard Goats taking on the “persona of a fan” in their Twitter account. Brands can get so creative with customer engagement and Wendy’s is a perfect example of this. Like Professor Kane says, this is a risky strategy, but its working for now. It makes me wonder, though, what could happen if one tweet accidentally goes too far or reaches an unwanted audience… I’m sure they have the proper crisis management steps in place given their risky strategy, though. Thanks, Brittany!

  4. Really enjoyed reading your blog post! Twitter is an interesting place for businesses to interact with customers because they are able to engage them so personally. That being said, I think it is also pretty easy for companies to “cross the line” on this platform and cause a lot of trouble. I haven’t seen all of Wendy’s tweets engaging with their customers, but I wonder if their have been any negative effects/ lash back due to the tone or content of their tweets?

  5. andrewmanginelli · ·

    I could see a lot of things going awry giving one person all this power. I wonder what specific guidelines they have in place that she needs to use while tweeting. Another thing I question are the statistics on likelihood of purchase when you follow on Twitter. Although I’ve seen many of those Tweets before, I would not say I’m more likely to go to a Wendy’s because of their funny social media. When it comes to fast food, I’m going wherever is the most convenient. I’m sure that a strong social media presence can help in other industries that involve larger purchases, but I question how much pull it has in fast food.

  6. Great post! Wendy’s is definitely on top of their Twitter game and all of their clapbacks are hilarious. I was very surprised to learn that it is managed by one person. Wendy’s also has a huge Instagram presence and actually had a campaign where they had a “nutritionist” under a pseudonym create “healthy meals” that was pure satire. It wasn’t very well received and they destroyed that account but it shows that they aren’t afraid to experiment with social media. That will be key to them being ahead of the curve in the fast food industry.

  7. rjacques62 · ·

    Really interesting post! I was surprised that only 377 out of the Fortune 500 companies have Twitter accounts; I thought that percentage would have been higher since it costs nothing to make one and it is a free way to communicate with your customers. I like Wendy’s Twitter account but I wonder if they will end up making a mistake a some point and have Twitter turn on them. I’d be interested in seeing how their internal controls are run to help prevent this.

  8. mgiovanniello · ·

    Great post! Wendy’s tweets have been hysterical. Ever since I read the first snarky tweet from their account early this year, I’ve been following and sharing their tweets with others. They’re clearly onto something, and others have changed their tune as well — just look at Burger King’s and McDonald’s Twitter accounts now. I also remember reading about Amy Brown as the voice behind Wendy’s social media accounts, and it’s sad that she’s no longer behind them. But whoever is, has been doing just as great a job!

  9. I laugh all along. Amazing post. This is one of the accounts I follow. I normally never follow companies, but individual people for news or sports news. I love following Wendy because they are honest, transparent and everything they say, they say in a candor way. I love the tweet on the frozen meat. And how Wendy’s answered twice to the same “troll”. You need to have a special character and imagination to reply tweets like that. Interesting strategy and hopefully they keep doing it. It makes my day…

  10. whitmcdonald2 · ·

    Brittany- awesome post. I’ve heard about and noticed Wendy’s aggressive behavior on social media. Like Professor Kane said, super risky but it does work! This summer, I was surprised at how large of a presence the fast food restaurants have on social media. Your post helps break down those statistics and it makes a lot of sense. Wendy’s is definitely up there on noteworthy strategy! Did you hear about Taco Bell’s and Burger King’s? Burger King’s Whopper commercial was innovative, risky, but wasn’t very successful because people took it into their own hands…. check out the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lNerrV8wuw. And Taco Bell is one of Digitas’ clients and they created a campaign that was truly incredible! Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GewHlqWKkyo. Thanks for the post! Super interesting!

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