3 lessons from Burger King’s and others’ sassy Twitter moves

The burger chain grabbed attention with its response to Kanye West, but similar interactions are becoming more popular with social media teams. Consider these insights.

Burger King recently grabbed headlines for its comeback to a Kanye West tweet—showing yet again the power of Twitter interactions.

Fast Company reported:

After renouncing his cataclysmic political advocacy last week, the man who gave us the Late Registration album went back to his previous style of provocation: making outlandish hot takes about cultural ephemera.

On Sunday, West tweeted:

Burger King quickly jumped on the opportunity to grab buzz:

Burger King UK also replied with a snarky comment:

Though Burger King was first to the scene, Wendy’s got in on the action, too:

West hasn’t yet responded—but Burger King and Wendy’s grabbed both engagement and headlines.

The growing trend is becoming more and more popular with brand managers. If you’re looking to make a similar splash online, consider the following three lessons:

1. Remember your sense of humor.

The more you can take a joke—and respond in kind—the better your chances are at endearing Twitter users (especially if they’re not already following you or your organization).

Elon Musk—whose tweets have sparked more criticism than praise recently—retweeted a satirical article about the Tesla and SpaceX chief executive buying—then trashing—popular game Fortnite.

Forbes reported:

… Musk shared a photoshopped screenshot of a Marketwatch article (Correction: The fake article was from Marketwatch, not QZ as originally written) that claimed “Elon Musk buys Fortnite and deletes it,” followed by a fake quote from Musk stating “I had to save these kids from eternal virginity.” Musk shared the image (which I do not believe he created), and said “Had to be done ur welcome.”

Fortnite’s social media team responded, and a short back-and-forth ensued:

“While Musk may not have the best reputation at the moment after he was removed from his position as Tesla Chairman, the billionaire still knows how to have some fun on social media,” Game Rant reported.

Humor went a long way for both parties. You would do well to remember to have fun with social media engagement.

2. Keep promotions subtle—or entertaining.

Ryan Reynolds rekindled the fake Twitter feud between himself and Hugh Jackman with a mock political ad referencing Jackman’s upcoming movie, “The Front Runner.” In the movie, Jackman plays 1988 presidential candidate Gary Hart:

Jackman responded by tweeting a video in which he picked up his dog’s feces from a picture of Reynolds, decked out as Deadpool:

For Reynold’s video tweet, references to “The Front Runner” were obvious—but done in a tongue-in-cheek manner, making it more palatable. In Jackman’s response, the promotion (for Reynold’s “Deadpool” films) was subtle.

If you’re going to mention your organization’s messaging or share promotional tweets in instances such as this, go subtle—or go the way of parody. Take, for example, DiGiorno’s sideshow when it live-tweeted “The Sound of Music: Live.” Straight promotions in lighthearted tweeting engagements can make you sound ingenuous.

3. It’s all in your response.

It’s crucial for social media mangers to monitor online conversations to jump on trending news and respond to consumers’ questions and concerns, but some might also get the opportunity to bask in a slew of likes and retweets after being engaged by another brand’s social media team.

A virtual game of branded tag recently took place on Twitter:

MoonPie didn’t respond immediately, but the social media managers already involved picked up the slack with more back-and-forth quips:

Charmin jumped into the conversation, as well:

MoonPie did eventually respond, which created another conversation string.

Trading quips or compliments is an easy way for brand managers to get their organizations’ Twitter accounts in front of a new set of consumer eyeballs.

With more brand managers attempting this maneuver, your response can make or break your 15 minutes in the limelight. The quicker the response and the cleverer the brand reference (hint: don’t make it sound similar to an ad), the more you can attract fans—and get kudos from consumers.


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