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Why Wendy’s Brilliant Social Media Marketing Won’t Work For You

Wendy's roasting a consumer who called Wendy's food trash via Twitter

Large consumer brands, like Wendy’s, have had numerous successful runs on Twitter showcasing their more sassy side, but this concept does not work for everyone. Although clever and witty, when it comes to products manufacturers we don’t recommend you go around roasting your Twitter audience and here are the reasons why…

1. Remember who the Wendy’s audience is The tweets were funny because their marketing on Twitter is geared towards young people who enjoy Twitter beefs, which fit perfectly for them. Internet trolling is generational and may not be as well received to every user.

2. They don’t sell a serious product They sell food; cheap, fast food that they’ve sold relatively the same way for 40 years. They have room for humor, because this well-known brand sells hamburgers, not architectural materials. The product doesn’t have to last for decades and therefore the expectation of greatness isn’t as high.
Have you ever gotten a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s? Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it isn’t but hey it was 5 bucks so better luck next time. When you’re talking about brands that sell materials for buildings that people live in, or shop or have medical procedures in, the expectations are much higher for the quality and longevity of what you’re selling.

3. They have millions of followers 1.11M to be exact, that is a huge audience on Twitter. They are the type of brand who gets hundreds of interactions daily, making it easier to communicate with followers. Additionally, their brand has a diversity only consumer brands possess which often breaches age and socioeconomic brackets. With that large an audience they have the ability to experiment with how different types of content will be received.

4. Humanization of branding in markets can be tricky You always want your brand, no matter what you sell to be humanized. You are people making products that other people buy, so it is always important to remain human. In fact, humanizing makes it easier to explain mistakes, mishaps and misunderstandings along the way. But how human you are depends on a lot of factors including your audience, your products, and your company. For a brand like Wendy’s, all of these factors, their young audience, the playfulness of their product, and their popularity award them this unique social presence.

Twitter feud between a consumer and Wendy's regarding freshness of meat

Wendy's comeback on Twitter feud with a consumer regarding freshness of meat

Wendy's wins with final retort on Twitter feud with a consumer regarding freshness of meat

But, for as many times as you see big brands having public successes, they have also had very public failures as well. Big brands try to keep up with trends, which occasionally has adverse effects. The lesson to understand when looking at big brands for marketing inspiration is that you are very different. Social media will never be one size fits all. One killer idea may have a disastrous outcome in a different context.

We always suggest to clients in the construction products industry to stay away from sassy and keep your social classy.