I happened to chance across this video during the rare moments when I’m on Facebook. So I thought, why not take a look at how Wendy’s does its marketing strategy on social media for this next blog post? *genius* (or not)
But first, have a look at the video to get some context.
I can’t imagine the kind of reaction that you might have had, but all I was thinking throughout the video was like, “Can they even do such kind of thing…? On social media…?” Sure, the responses were witty and hilarious, but still, we are talking about a legit fast-food company that runs an actual business here. Wouldn’t such online behavior somehow affect its reputation or business?
In fact, Wendy’s has been garnering rather positive attention instead. Its most recent tweet response to a user who questioned Wendy’s fresh, never frozen beef patties has certainly caught a lot of media attention.
I can’t really defend the taste and quality of their burgers (because I did not get to try them when they still had their restaurants here in Singapore *sobs*), but if Wendy’s wants to stand out from the crowd in a land of fast-food joints with big players in the industry that can easily overshadow it, making use of social media to its advantage may be the way.
1. Defining its goals
Wendy’s use of each social media platform differs slightly, based on its goals for the individual accounts.
Based from the short intros that Wendy’s did for each social media platform, you can tell that its Twitter account sounds a little more interesting. This is because Wendy’s is most active on Twitter. You will see how this is important in Point #3 later.
2. Implementing goals in promotional messages
Although it’s probably already very common for companies to make use of social media to market their products, I’ll just like to highlight a few things that I’d noticed as I compared its 3 accounts.
Wendy’s Twitter and Facebook are more in sync in terms of its marketing posts; Instagram joins in the synchronicity once in a while, but it offers a more artistic side instead due to the nature of the layout. (NOTE: Wendy’s Instagram account used to be super fail in the past, until it was revamped, saving its butt. Perhaps this may also explain the differences in the posts.)
Also, it makes sense for Wendy’s to post more of its videos on Facebook (and also on Youtube, but this is out of the discussion for now), rather than Twitter. So it’s quite straightforward how Wendy’s makes use of the unique characteristics of the social media platforms to best implement its promotional messages.
Of course, like all good marketing messages, Wendy’s tells its customers what it’s currently offering with its short, funny copies and eye-catching visuals.
3. Communicating with customers
As taught in class, Wendy’s is using social media to build community by interacting with its customers in real-time. This also means having to deal with their
nonsense requests as well. I was really impressed that Wendy’s actually tries to respond to almost every customer on Twitter. Although I can’t say the same for its Facebook and Instagram, but as already mentioned in Point #1, Wendy’s focus is definitely on Twitter.
I’ll just give you 2 examples:
To online trolls (or perhaps people who are just bored and want to have some fun), Wendy’s continues to maintain its witty humor in its responses, which also promotes the company and its products at the same time. Wendy’s also promptly replies to real customer complaints on social media to quickly address any serious issues before they get out of hand. It really isn’t an easy feat to juggle all that, together with the need to strategize how and when to post any promotional content–this is only possible because of Point #4.
4. Having its very own social media manager!
From the notes that we got from our instructor, it was reported that “only 22% of businesses have a dedicated social media manager.”
Wendy’s is DEFINITELY part of this 22%.
Meet Amy Brown, Wendy’s super ultra dedicated social media manager.
Thanks to her and her community response team, Wendy’s sure is right on track with its social media strategy. Although building community by communicating with its customers (Point #3) takes a lot of time and effort, I believe that it’s crucial because it provides a voice to the company, which says a whole lot more than just its products alone. And by marketing its products using this voice that is well loved by its customers, it would naturally drive sales as customers would already internalize a biased preference for the brand. It was reported that Wendy’s success in early 2016 was due to its “4 for $4” promotion. (Remember the tweet that warned Wendy’s about Burger King’s move in the video? Seems like Wendy’s did a great job on that after all! 😎)
To summarize, it is important for businesses to have a goal for their social media presence so that a strategy can be implemented that is in line with that goal. And for the strategy to be successful, having a social media manager is necessary so that a company can communicate with its customers.
On a side note, did you guys notice the hidden message in Wendy’s new logo?
Lemme know what you think about Wendy’s responses on Twitter! (And if you could find the hidden message too! 😉