An App A Day #5

Case Study: Which brands are best using Twitter?

As most of us already know how to use Twitter, today we will be covering the brands we think are best using it in accordance with their digital and social media objectives.

The brands we will be covering today are Wendy’s & Arby’s

Wendy’s is an American fast food chain that turned Social Media on its head with its sharp, tongue-in-cheek tone of voice. The brand’s Social Media strategist, Amy Brown, followed the trends on Twitter and could see what kind of content the people wanted to see on the platform, whether it came from brands, influencers or just normal people.

Wendy’s content strategy is one of the best examples on how to structure your content on Twitter and what people want to see more of.

Always-on content: average 9 tweets per month.

Twitter is a conversational platform at its core. In general, people want to laugh at memes, complain about things, or have discussions. When brands push out 15–30 tweets a month about their discounts, promotions or intrinsics of a certain product, people lose interest. Limiting your branded content will always do well for you.

Always-on content

Response / ad-hoc Tweets: 4 per month

These are tweets that are RT’d and have a caption added to them. This is usually current news about the brand or any of their initiatives. Wendy’s uses this in more of a formal way than they would with their direct replies.

Replies: average 100+ per hour (business hours)

This is Wendy’s bread & butter. The tone of voice used by the brand is part of the reason why they are one of the more popular accounts to interact with on Twitter. Their Community Managers have a handle on trending topics, as well as pop culture, news and music. This allows them to give responses to questions in a tongue-in-cheek way, not the usual boring brand TOV that we are used to seeing.

Viral replies from Wendy’s

Wendy’s Twitter account took a turn from January 2017, where they started executing their new strategy and online TOV. At the time, a lot of people actually thought the account had been hacked because their replies and conversations were, as the kids say, “savage.”

All this led up to possibly one of the greatest organic campaigns the internet has ever seen — #nuggsforcarter

The result of this was the most retweeted tweet of all time, simply from great Community Management.


Growth in Engagement from January 1

Arby’s Content

Arby’s is another American fast-food chain that has done a great job using Twitter to put out great content. Their content focuses mainly on trending topics, pop culture and anime.

tying pop culture back into the brand/product

They also create short videos & GIFs to bring their content to life, using their brand products in a fun way that is not really prevalent on social media. It’s also quite clear that they have have a content producer who has a knack for paper art, which is a great move for the brand. These days it is very important to have the people who work on your brand to live through it and show off their talents. This increases job satisfaction and helps distinguish the brand from the rest of the noise online.


There is an argument that brands should consider being more flexible with their TOV, at least in responses to people who engage. It brings about an air of authenticity, as well as making the brand more relatable.

The only way brands trend on Twitter without being funny or dropping big news, is when they have messed up. When a brand messes up, everybody wants to jump on it and be the one to have the best response.

When Wendy’s responded to that tweet on 3 January, they trended in a good way. The nature of Twitter is that people are savage, and they like to see other people being savage.

There are only 2 brands in South Africa that are executing at that level of wit — City of Joburg in their content & Russian Bear Vodka in their replies and conversations

How can your brand get there?

We believe that for a brand to be most effective, you need to bring a team in-house. If this is not a possibility, or you are an agency, this is the best way to structure your social teams:

Brand Teams — can not be spread across more than 2 brands & should consist of at least

•1 Community Manager

•1 Content Manager

•1 Content Producer

Social Media trends — The common trend amongst these top content producers and community managers is that they have become experts in their field by always staying on top of trends, lingo, popular culture and current affairs. They more often than not are also writers.

Build client trust — it should not take hours to get client approval on a funny or tactful response you’d like to make or tactical opportunity you’d like to latch onto while it is still popular. There is nothing worse than brands who come late to the party on a trending topic

Understand your audience — What elevates the best brands on Twitter is a firm understanding of their Twitter audience. They comment on pop culture stories that interest them, rather than just using their voice to segue the conversation back to a self-serving message.

Be real — Twitter was originally designed for people, not brands. So it stands to reason that you’ll be better off talking to followers as people rather than targets you want to manipulate.

Content plans — Scheduled content on Twitter should account for about 20% of your total monthly content. At the moment it’s sitting in the 80s/90s for our brands. Twitter is not about brand messages. It’s conversation.