Fast food giant Wendy's has been making headlines for its recent messages to Twitter users. The tweets range from playfully throwing shade at people (and competing restaurants) to helping them with their math homework.
Since these "roasting" tweets gained viral traction on January 2nd, Wendy's has seen an approximate a 35% increase in followers to date, which equates to about 350,000 net new followers according to Twitter follower tool TwitterCounter.
So, what can your restaurant do to replicate Wendy's success on social media, gain more followers, and ultimately boost sales?
Catching Fire: The Beginning of Wendy's Roasts on Twitter
At the turn of the new year, Wendy's sent out a tweet featuring an image of one of their burgers with a reminder that they serve fresh beef, never frozen.
The tweet was extremely well-received in the online community, earning almost 10,000 retweets. Supportive fans and followers commented back with proof of just how much they enjoyed seeing a sway away from the traditional tone businesses have with their followers.
While Wendy's gained sales from this initiative, that's not all they gained. Take a look at their follower growth in January of 2017 compared to their growth in December of 2016. As of this post's publishing, the percent growth is nearing 40%.
Since the first roast tweet, Wendy's has been booming in followers and tweet engagement, with several users aiming to get a roast of their own. Here are some of the cleverest tweets in the series of Wendy's roasts, sent by Social Media Manager Amy Brown and her two other coworkers in Wendy's community response team.
This ruthless snapback to a user who desperately needs to check their grammar.
The roast tweets were even the subject of a react episode from Fine Brothers Entertainment on YouTube, which earned over 3.5 million views in less than a week.
So...How Can My Restaurant's Twitter Be More Like Wendy's?
First off, let me say that you should not want your Twitter account to be just like Wendy's.
One of the reasons this worked so well for them is because they did something original. If you attempt to knock off the idea, that's exactly how it'll appear to your followers and your customers. Any chance of being followed or interacted with because of your originality will end before it begins.
Instead, learn from the general approach Wendy's took to their new social media strategy - remember that there is a person behind every computer screen. People respond positively to laughter and a genuine voice. Just because you're typing on a screen does not mean you are typing to a screen.
So with that said, here are some steps your restaurant can take to capitalize on this method of social media marketing that has pushed Wendy's over the one million follower mark.
Develop a Brand Voice
Just like your restaurant's menu, concept, appearance, and location, your brand voice is unique to your restaurant. Wendy's is conveying through their Twitter that they are a human, witty, and personable brand that stays with the times and isn't afraid to be humorously edgy. This tweet serves to show that idea with a simple, three-word response.
If your restaurant is more of a fine dining restaurant and holds itself to a formal, elegant standard, these responses may not work as well with your follower base. Don't jeopardize your brand if it's taken years to work for it.
The only exception here is if your restaurant's brand is one that doesn't respond to tweets. If that's the case, it might be time for some minor rebranding.
Remember You Aren't a Robot
Develop a thoughtful response to all of your tweets and messages, and don't try to interject humor when it isn't welcome. Even Wendy's knows when to keep things professional and respond appropriately.
@Vanzaldua07 This doesn't sound like the quality we wish to provide. Please DM us, we'd like to assist you.
Respond earnestly, remember you're tweeting to a person, and if the situation calls for it, add some humor and levity to your customer interactions. It breaks down the perceived barrier of "company and consumer" and creates a new picture of your restaurant and brand in your guests' minds.
Throw in Some Visuals
Remember, this whole occasion began when Wendy's tweeted out a picture of their food. Since then, they've elevated to pictures and even GIFs in their replies. Recently, they've been appealing to the theater buffs in their follower base with references to Broadway sensation Hamilton.
Whether it's a retweet, a like, a comment, a favorite, or a share, any kind of engagement is great on social media, and posts with visuals like photos, videos, and GIFs are how you can get more engagement.
Keeping Your Social Media Fresh
Wendy's has obviously done something amazing with their Twitter, but remember it started with simplicity and humor. Remember your brand image, post frequently, respond to comments, be visual, and maybe you'll be the next restaurant sensation on social media.
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