Over the past several months Wendy’s has seen a seemingly innocent rebuttal to a request go viral – several times over. It’s taken on its critics – and won. It’s responded to bold questions – and nailed the answers. Over the past couple of years, it seems to be the year where companies have grown comfortable on social media and also a bit bold, to the delight of consumers. Asked about this new rebellious tone, a Wendy’s spokesperson shared with Entrepreneur, “We see ourselves as a challenger with charm, so we can take advantage of opportunities to engage with our fans in very different way from our competitors.” (Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/292839)
And take advantage of those opportunities, it has. For example, the quick, clever responses to innocuous statements:
Then, shutting down (literally) a hater:
When the competition tried to keep up, they couldn’t:
When they were asked for relationship advice, it was sweet:
And then the mother of all social media events happened. And it shot Wendy’s to number one on the social media interaction scale. On April 6, 16-year-old Carter Wilkerson tweeted at the fast food chain and asked “how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?”
Quickly, Wendy’s responded with the challenge: “18 million.”
The teen rose to the occasion and tweeted to the world to support him in his quest. And in true Twitter fashion, the world responded. As of May, that post had been retweeted over 3.5 million times. The most retweets, ever.
It is here where B2C was applied to perfection.
Where most companies choose to ignore the comments and questions deemed silly or risky, Wendy’s embraced them and engaged their target markets beautifully. But did it translate to sales? It depends. 2017 Q1 results indicated a fall in overall revenues but an increase in North America same-restaurant sales increase 1.6% (+5.2% on a two-year basis). (Source: www.wendys.com)
However, from a consumer engagement perspective, it’s doing all the right things.