Don't call it a comeback - I've been here for years. — LL Cool J.
A few years ago, Twitter was considered dead. But then, as SnapChat and improvements to Instagram pushed our attention toward pretty pictures, something flipped. The value and reaction time of Twitter made it our instant news channel. Plus, Twitter is home to the biggest, most entertaining personalities. You won’t scroll far before finding the next viral thread, laugh out loud joke or (shudder) the latest tweet that got ratioed.
Twitter certainly has a place, and—unlike the SnapChat/Instagram Olympics—it doesn’t have a direct competitive alternative with the same format for content.
75% of B2B businesses market on Twitter and 65% of B2C businesses are marketing there. That means Twitter outranks YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat in B2B saturation. It’s second only to LinkedIn.
You should consider Twitter as part of your marketing strategy. But since you’re most likely already on Twitter, maybe it’s time to reconsider its value and how you can level up on this social platform. In order to stand out from others, consider examples from these seven brands and how they use different strategies across Twitter to steal attention away from their competition.
If you started today, would your brand see value from implementing one of these strategies?
Wendy’s does a lot of things right on Twitter. They’re stone-cold when it comes to clapbacks with other brands, especially competition. The feuds are fun and draw a ton of attention. They pretty much do it all.
But today we’re focusing on one thing Wendy’s does that B2B can do, too: taking advantage of trending current events. Wendy’s has established their sarcastic voice (now attributed to the brand) and the Twittersphere wants to hear their take on trending news. It doesn’t come off hokey or dishonest. Wendy’s cleverly selects events and appeals to a variety of different camps by doing so. See here:
It can be advantageous to comment on trending topics. You have an opportunity to get a lot more eyes on your content. But this could also backfire and expose any weaknesses in your account or unauthentic comments. If you’re not a flip-flopper on issues, the key to this strategy is response time. You must be fast and have incredible planning/flexibility to react to events.
Define your target audience. Arby’s does this extremely well on Twitter. While their photos are artworks created with meats, fries, sauces and cut up packaging art, the context of these photos is key. Arby’s is HUGE into nerd culture. Nearly every image references a video game, WWE, cartoons, or (of course) Game of Thrones. Heck, even their website source code has hidden roast beef sandwiches and a box of curly fries embedded in the code. Nerdery commence:
You may be wondering: Why?
Because nerding out on something just means you have a huge passion for it. Arby’s celebrates this relentless fandom by nodding to things people care deeply about. And they double down on this alignment to passions by creating one of their own: the Arbys of the Month subscription box—a collection of limited Arby’s gear and branded merch that fans didn’t even know they wanted. If you’re looking for a box, you’ll have to wait. When these boxes released in January 2019, the subscriptions sold out in under an hour.
Not just a child’s breakfast ravioli. These toastable pastries became popular at the turn of the century as Moms looked for an easy—albeit sugary— breakfast option for their kids.
You may think Pop-Tarts are for kids, we adults like to sneak a few after our oatmeal or protein shakes. Full disclosure: Ivor Andrew may or may not have a Pop-Tarts subscription plan.
Pop-Tarts knows who is stocking the pantry. The adults. And boy oh boy, do they break the mold. You won’t think it’s for kids once you check out how the brand uses innuendo and snark to create a harsh, hilarious personality that we can’t get enough of.
For this breakdown, we’re going to narrow down and focus on one of MoonPie’s strategies. This is an emboldened brand personality that delivers expert disses, oddly vulnerable relationship pleas to someone named Linda, and genuine human compassion that leaves people in awe. This list won’t give them proper justice, so you need to follow them if you’re not.
Sometimes you have traits about your company name or industry that you can take very literal and lean in to have some fun. It’s a way of being distinctive and, in MoonPie’s case, weird. And weird is good. People like weird. That’s part of the reason why we go on social media: for entertainment. MoonPie continually shares its vendetta against the sun. They love the moon and they go hard at the sun. Sunglasses on:
How do you define a similar strategy for your company? Here’s some inspiration from our team.
We had to throw a dark horse into the mix. Liquid Death is a new product, less than a year old.. It’s water in a can. You could consider this an anti-brand. The makers of this beverage saw two opportunities that inspired them to further develop this product.
First, the offensive volume of plastic water bottles being disposed of in our landfills and oceans. Plastic water bottles contain 3% recycled material while aluminum cans contain 70%. They could differentiate, but only for so long until others match the demand to decrease plastic usage.
Second, bottled water is the largest beverage marketing in the United States and they’re all marketed toward exercise and health focuses. They are taking advantage of a huge opportunity gap in this market to define an alternative brand.
Liquid Death takes common water and amps up the brand intensity past the level of energy drinks and some craft beers. This water is not for everyone. This water is metal. Water is dangerous and that’s cool. Their Twitter account is just another avenue to advance their personality and go against the grain. As they say, if this offends you, it’s probably not for you.
When you sell toilet paper, you can’t be shy about poop. If you are, I suggest reading “Everyone Poops.” My 3-year-old has 100,000 miles on our copy.
It could be difficult to market a product that people use in private, and a concept people don’t want to talk about. But you can’t hide who you are. So lean in and take a sheet out of Charmin’s roll. If your brand relates to a topic that’s usually off-limits, use humor to open people’s minds. Remember, to be distinctive, you can’t please everyone. It’s important your content is for the people that “get it.” Because they will love it.
This brand isn’t shy. But judging by the low engagement, their followers might be. But the content is decent overall. Some jokes fall flat, but you have to give the brand points for putting in the effort. And I’d wager Charmin has nothing to complain about with 80K+ followers.
Not all brands need to rely on humor. Twitter is a great way to own a personality that is expected from your customers. And in the case of Southwest Airlines, they amplify their voice with compassion. Southwest Airlines has dedicated response activity to Twitter and replies to every single tweet they get.
Southwest has taken the natural conversation traits of Twitter and turned it into their best customer service line. Operating nearly 4,000 flights a day can have unexpected issues, and with so many customers flying to different places, not everyone will be happy with you. As a company, you have a choice on how to treat your customers. You can either physically drag them off a plane against their will, or you can empathize with their situation. You won’t always be able to find their bag or give them what they ask, but empathy and acknowledgement is really all they want. They want to be treated like people.
Due to their success on Twitter, Southwest has even created custom GIFs featuring a Southwest employee to show they understand and relate, because they’re people too.
You don’t have to have a big brand budget to get Twitter results. With perseverance, you just have to learn how to do a handful of things right, and then repeat. For starters:
Want a bold Twitter personality? Schedule a free meeting and let's talk about you.