As memes and comedic posts have taken over social media in these recent, turbulent times, brands have taken advantage of the new generation’s taste for humor through marketing innovations on Twitter, Instagram and other networks. With witty comebacks and fun plays on serious current events, brands from big to small, and old to new, have blown up.
Far from their ‘aw-shucks’ mold of old, Wendy’s has become widely known as one of the funniest companies to follow on Twitter. With sassy, feisty replies from Wendy’s, followers actually reach out in anticipation of being ridiculed. When asked by a user, “Can you find me the nearest McDonald’s?” Wendy’s fired back with a picture of a trash can. This tweet received 13K retweets and 24K likes on the platform, proving how a sarcastic persona can do wonders for social media marketing.
Similarly successful social wins have included the dictionary folks at Miriam Webster. Latching on to highly discussed events on social media, they’ve used definitions as an indirect response. When charges against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates came down, Webster’s shared a tweet informing followers that ‘collusion’ and ‘indictment’ were among the top lookups that day. That clever mode of commenting without commenting has earned Webster’s 800K dedicated Twitter followers, all of whom now have great factoids to share more broadly.
Many companies today are taking more advantage of the growing trend in meme culture on specific social networks. And their successes highlight clever, hi-profile ways to project a brand, product or service in a comedic way, as well as finding a sweet spot in terms of content types that have projected their audiences through retweets and shares.
While social media users may not follow a company for generic ad content, when a brand provides entertainment or amusement — an actual personality — small followings can explode to viral marketing successes.