Wendy’s — A Social Media Maven

If you give my husband the option of going out to dinner to a nice restaurant in town, or drive 2 miles down the road, to our local Wendy’s fast-food restaurant, guess what we’re having for dinner that night!

The love for Wendy’s is very real, and I don’t know if it’s their promise of being the ‘home of fresh, never frozen beef’, or something else, but I have to tell you, we are certainly enamored by whoever genius is behind Wendy’s social media golden game!

Over on Twitter, brands have the difficult task of trying to stand out from the rest. Using a mere 280 characters or less, brands have to prove they’re funny, relatable, don’t take themselves too seriously, have good products to sell us and are down with pop culture. Brands try, but very few of them truly succeed.

Who doesn’t remember this tweet from @carterjwm to Wendy’s back in 2017? Perhaps as a way to just have some fun with the brand, Carter ask how many retweets it would take for Wendy’s to give him a year’s worth of free chicken nuggets.

Wendy’s response? 18 million! Carter jumped at the opportunity, and retweeted Wendy’s reply, and that garnered him MILLIONS of retweets and responses.

This was the result of that genius strategy that Wendy’s took and ran with immediately! @Carterjwm now has the most retweet in Twitter of all time. Can you imagine the amount of publicity and further exposure this brought to Wendy’s?! They did right by Carter, by most certainly keeping their promise, and also taking the opportunity in creating a social media campaign around the one tweet. Elevating their social responsibilities, and using this campaign to donate $100k to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. If this is not genius, what is?

What helps Wendy’s with winning at their social media savviness? This trifecta — humor, brand awareness, and authenticity! These are their main goals, and what they wish to achieve with every tweet, Facebook post, and social media campaign. Not only are they not afraid to drop the mic, and to shade and give all types of sass, but it is all strategy and goals behind all of their art.

EClincher has Wendy’s in their top 10 brands on social media, for their sassy tweets, fabulous roasts, and hilarious jokes, that are so epic that people are following them and eagerly waiting for what they’re going to say next. As a matter of a fact, Fast Company named them the number 1 spot in their 2019’s Most Innovative Company in their social media category. That is one coveted title!

Social Media Examiner recommends that brands have the following goals when brewing their campaigns (and Wendy’s checks all of them):

  1. Raise Awareness of Your Brand ✔️
  2. Website Traffic ✔️
  3. Website Visitor Loyalty ✔️
  4. Conversion Rates ✔️

With the Retweets for Chicken Nuggets Twitter campaign, within 6 weeks, Wendy’s earned 2.5 billion media impressions and 5 million mentions of Carter Wilkerson’s quest for nuggets, increasing overall mentions of the brand by 376 percent. Those are some serious KPI’s! Businesses face increasing and significant challenges because old school brands are some times unmoved by new startups, which are not only more agile and innovative, but also change all the rules of the game. Because of this, Forbes always recommends that a brand needs to “tailor your objectives, goals, and KPIs for each individual campaign’, to be successful. This campaigns ROI was a hit, with Wendy’s earning 2.5 billion impressions, it had to assign a monetary value to that level of consumer reach to get some semblance of monetary ROI.

I believe Wendy’s is one of those genius brands that fall under the ‘Challenger Brand Thinking’, which The Challenger Project, published by #eatbigfish, calls any brand whose ambitions are bigger than their conventional marketing resources and wants to embrace the benefits of that challenger mindset, because it’s about progress. I am still trying to figure out whether Wendy’s would fall under the The Irreverent Maverick, The Next Generation, or the Game Changer narrative in the challenger model, as it fits the bill for all.

‘Reply rate’ is the sweet spot of Wendy’s Twitter strategy, and boy is it sweet, and sassy. I appreciate how they truly understand their audience, and look for their audience, not just to have them come to their burger joints, but to get them to interact in this hyperconnected world — wherever the audience is, they know how to find them. Know what recently blew my mind? Wendy’s now has a Twitch account! You heard that right! They play the latest games, live, and call their gaming characters by food items from their menu. It is a hilarious and genius strategy to reach their people.

Recently, Wendy’s had another social media campaign that was pure genius — once again tapping into the popular livestreaming and gaming site, Twitch. This campaign was way more than just in-game swag and gaming. By expertly tapping into Twitch and some of its most popular Twitch streamers (Tfue has 9.7 million followers alone)–Wendy’s wanted to tap into crowds of nearly 40 million monthly active viewers in the U.S., of which about 3/4 of them are 34 or younger.

Ooze marketing and social media genius, why don’t ya!

| Learning & Development Consultant | Social Media Curator | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion | Disney Magic Maker | Mother & Wife | She/Her/Hers |