Big Brands are not alone when it comes to using the best social media strategies.
If you have social media accounts for your brand with only a few followers, it’s only natural to have a bit of brand envy. However, major food brands like Wendy’s, OREO, and countless others have attracted millions of followers and boosted brand visibility and revenue significantly because of their skilled handling of the modern social media landscape.
The landmark successes we see are typically not flukes; they’re the natural result of following basic, fundamental principles of social media marketing.
So why have Wendy’s and OREO been so successful on social media? And what lessons can you learn to replicate their success for your brand potentially?
The Best Social Media Strategies: Wendy’s
Wendy’s has more than 6,500 restaurants worldwide, holding its position as the third-largest quick-service hamburger company. You probably instantly recognize the red-haired girl who has served as the restaurant’s mascot for decades. And these days, you probably associate the restaurant’s name with more than just pigtails and hamburgers.
Here’s one interaction from their Twitter account from early 2017:
“@Wendys, My friends like wendy’s, but i don’t, what do i tell them?”
“Apologize for being wrong.”
And another from later on in the year:
“@Wendys McDonald’s is better.”
“At freezing beef.”
By now, we’re all familiar with Wendy’s social media team’s propensity for “roasting” other fast food brands and, sometimes, its fans and followers. The Wendy’s Twitter account takes replies from other users and often responds to them with hilarious, playful insults and sharp, improvised jokes.
Around 2017, there was a marked change in Wendy’s social media strategy. And there’s an identifiable reason for the changeover – Wendy’s got rid of its lengthy bureaucratic review process for tweets. As a result, the social media team was free to express themselves as they saw fit and execute the strategy they felt would serve the brand best.
Instead of playing it safe, they took a risk – and it paid off big time, as evidenced by the onslaught of new copycat accounts hoping to replicate the success of Wendy’s by mimicking their penchant for roasting.
On the surface, it may seem like literally insulting your followers is the worst possible play to make on social media. But several things are working in this strategy’s favor. For starters, these insults are clearly playful jokes; everything is worded tastefully and respectfully, with a tone that makes it clear that these are intended in a positive way.
More than that, these jokes are distinctive. Wendy’s started this strategy at a time when major brands would never consider taking this angle. The tweets are seen as authentic and human rather than bureaucratic and robotic. And to top it off, many of these tweets are replies to other tweets – making the account highly engaging.
The Best Social Media Strategies: OREO
OREO has seen a similar amount of success, though it has reached this success in a different way. Across all its social media accounts, but especially Twitter, the company has managed to reach new audiences and improved loyalty with dozens of different campaigns and angles, including:
- Polls and quizzes. OREO often conducts polls and quizzes, encouraging users to submit their own thoughts on a given topic related to the cookie or the brand. For example, OREO recently asked followers to pick a side – Mega Stuf vs. Thins. It’s not groundbreaking or world-changing stuff, but it gets people to reply.
- #OreoDeepThoughts. “If you’re eating an Oreo right now, are you just stealing an Oreo from your future self?” Mostly text-based, these tweets are short, simple, but strangely thought-provoking.
- OREO Snack Hacks. In this campaign, OREO presents innovative new ways to eat its signature cookies, recipe ideas, and even some fan creations. It’s a great way to get people thinking about their next food purchase and an even better way to encourage them to experiment.
- Dunk swag. In colorful, interesting photos, OREO also features much of its merchandise, including OREO cookie-laden socks and T-shirts.
The brand is successful in part because of how engaging it is; it’s always inviting responses and contributions from its followers. We can also attribute some of its success to the sheer diversity of content it features; there’s something for everybody.
The Best Social Media Strategies: Key Takeaways for Your Brand
So what can you learn from these food brands? How can you make your brand more prominent on social media?
- Keep a consistent tone and attitude. No matter what kind of content you’re posting, it’s essential to maintain a consistent tone and attitude. This way, people can get to know your brand better and enjoy a consistent experience every time they visit your page.
- Cater to your audience. Wendy’s has been successful in part because its authentic, bold tweets were so appealing to Generation Z. You’re not going to get anywhere by trying to target everyone at once; instead, you need to target your specific audience using insights you’ve gleaned from thorough market research.
- Don’t overthink or overprocess. Try not to overthink social media. Authenticity and improvisation are important, so if bureaucratic review processes burden you or you take too long to draft responses, you will lose this game.
- Be bold. Too many brands play it safe because they’re afraid of alienating people. But if you want to make an impact, you almost need to ruffle some feathers. So don’t be afraid to be bold.
- Do experiment. Every new social media post you make is a learning opportunity. Don’t be afraid to experiment and measure the results of those experiments; it’s the fastest way to find out what works and what doesn’t.
- Engage with your fans directly. Social media is designed to be social, after all.
Social media is just one part of your overall marketing strategy. If you’re looking for ways to improve your food and beverage brand positioning, be sure to check out our latest free eBook, Own the Cart. And if you need help planning a social media campaign of your own, or designing some other new marketing initiative, contact us today!