An open letter to Wendy’s regarding the following tweet.
We seem to have differing notions of what constitutes a snack.
According to you, this is a snack.
Two burgers. Chicken nuggets and dippin’ sauce. Fries. Beef chili. Soft drink. And of course, a Frosty. Hot damn, don’t forget the Frosty!
Not lunch for the boys in accounting. Not dinner for a family of five. No, according to what you tweeted out to your 619,000 followers, this is a snack. And don’t tell me it’s really meant for a group of people. There’s only one drink! Who gets the drink, Wendy’s? Who?
Instead of using social media to build a deeper relationship with people, you send them this. Nothing about your values. Nothing that distinguishes your brand from the other guys, or even just says, golly, thanks for your business. Nothing, indeed, that in the slightest way reflects the “social” part of social media. Who’s got time for endearing people to your brand? You’ve got nuggets in the fryer! Come and get it!
Admittedly, I have my opinions about how brands use and misuse various advertising tactics (i.e., native advertising). And some might believe that when it comes to social media, if it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t count. But still. A snack?
My son likes a good snack. Has one every afternoon after school. Here’s what his idea of a snack is:
I can imagine your reaction to this picture, Wendy’s. You’re saying “What the heck are those?!?”
Those, Wendy’s, are apple slices. Apples are a tasty fruit grown on trees. You actually have them on your menu! Yes, yes you really do. I’m not joking. They’re way down at the bottom of your “sides” menu. Those curious objects next to the chili cheese fries? Apple slices.
No, you don’t batter-dip them. No, they don’t come on a pretzel bun with creamy ranch sauce and Asiago cheese. According to my child, you eat them just as they are. But then again, he’s only six and not even on Twitter yet. What does he know?
Let’s have another look at that tweet.
It’s snack time, you guys!
If you insist on calling this a snack, why not put into the right context?
You could say, It’s snack time for the Packers offensive line!
How ‘bout, It’s snack time, you expectant mothers of quadruplets!
Or even, It’s snack time for Charles Barkley!
A snack? Assuming that’s a diet soda in that cup, this here snack is pushing 1,700 calories. And look at me, foolishly spreading out 2,200 measly calories over the course of an entire day!
This might be what method actors eat when they’re fattening up for a role, or perhaps what a viking horde would feast on before sacking a few coastal villages. And it’s quite obviously an attempt to compel your loyal fans into eating more, more, more.
It is not, however, the way you create loyalty on social media.
And it’s not a snack.