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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

How Brands Use Twitter To Gain Influence

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

The following is an article “How Brands Use Twitter To Gain Influence” by Marc Primo.

While statistics provided by Statista revealed that Facebook and Instagram might have ruled 2018 in the U.S. with a mobile reach of 90.6 percent and 62.8 percent, respectively, Twitter is still a major force in the game with a reach of 37.7 percent.

Twitter marketing strategy

Why Twitter is still relevant

While it might have a significantly smaller reach than the top two social media sites, Twitter still ranks in fourth place, after Facebook Messenger who has a 59.6 percent reach. That means Twitter still connected with almost 121 million Americans out of the United States’ 2018 population of 327.16 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Because of Twitter’s 140-character limit that is its unique selling proposition, users are forced to convey their thoughts or share their news as succinctly as possible. This limitation is cognizant of the short attention span most people have online as they sift through an endless stream of information at their fingertips. For brands that advertise heavily, this is something they are all too familiar with.

How brands have used Twitter to influence

As all advertising copywriters know, the key to an effective campaign is brevity and originality. Some of the best award-winning print ads from the pre-digital age had minimal copy. For example, multinational ad agency DDB promoted the Volkswagen Beatle with a photo of the vehicle and a one-word headline that simply read, “Lemon”—which, naturally, intrigued the reader enough to read the rest of the ad’s body copy.

Twitter is the digital equivalent of ads such as that one. By forcing brands to limit their post to 140 characters, or roughly 20 words, the digital marketers of these companies are compelled to stir their creative juices and come up with short, snappy, and witty content that will catch the eye of their followers.

Examples of successful brand influence on Twitter

Wendy’s is one brand that famously used Twitter’s platform to its advantage. To be on social media, brands must be quick to the draw when addressing negative user comments or the inevitable troll. One such troll decided to be a wise ass and send a tweet to Wendy’s asking them to find him the nearest McDonald’s. While common sense might dictate that the best reply would be no reply, Wendy’s simply replied with a photo of a trash can. Within hours, it garnered 13,000 retweets and 24,000 likes.

KFC is another fast food chain to have created buzz on Twitter with an ingenious digital marketing stunt. While most netizens only focus on a brand’s content, only a few bother to check who that brand actually follows vis-a-vis its myriad of followers. This is where KFC went for the creative jugular by cryptically following the Spice Girls and six random men named Herb. It was only after one of their followers with an eye for detail saw what KFC did there that people caught on: the people followed by the official KFC Twitter account was a reference to its legendary 11 herbs and spices secret recipe.

KFC then proceeded to reward that follower with a commissioned portrait of himself piggybacking on its founder Colonel Sanders, drumstick in hand, a story which, in itself, also went viral.

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