COVID-19 has brought out the best and worst in people… and brands. As companies’ brand voices become evermore casual and niche, some are really standing out as witty, hilarious, snarky, sarcastic and more on social media. There have been some truly LOL Twitter threads from brands like Wendy’s and Costco. And, at this point it’s practically a public service. We all do really need to laugh!
Here’s the thing, there was no playbook for how brands should communicate during COVID-19. For most, it has been fairly morose. This isn’t awful. It makes sense. You have to be somber because it is a serious situation.
Others took a different approach. Some brands use social media to anthropomorphise mascots and use a unique voice on different platforms. In other words, you can say something on Twitter or in an IG story that you wouldn’t say on a national commercial. You can be more personal, more flippant, more irreverent, more accessible. This is one of the great ways to leverage the many platforms of social media, presuming you have the manpower to pull it off.
Have you ever thought about this for your brand? Customizing your social media strategy so that you present a different (but related) side of yourself to viewers on that platform?
It’s kind of like that meme that was going around where people put four different pics of themselves to represent how they come across on IG v. Tinder v. Facebook v. LinkedIn.
The reality is, the people who run brands are multidimensional. As you’ve honed in on your brand voice, there are still different moods and voices you can use to appeal to a broader audience. It’s worth considering this smart and adaptive strategy.
“You have to inject more personality or more humanization into how people are perceiving your total messaging.”
Nathan Allebach, Social Media Manager at Allebach Communications and the person who writes Steak-umm’s tweets
As quarantine/social distancing/self-isolating/stay-at-home/shelter-in-place continue for many communities, here’s some funny stuff.
In addition to being funny and sarcastic, Wendy’s takes a totally off-book approach by streaming on Twitch. You can watch Wendy’s stream Animal Crossing. It was purposefully off-beat and a weird choice for a fast food restaurant… but it’s working. They’ve got the numbers to prove it. Here’s what went down around COVID-19 when Wendy’s decided to go after McDonald’s in a savage way:
The point? Nobody’s crying for McDonald’s, they’re fine. Wendy’s just took this opportunity to showcase their personality. And, based on consumer reports, data, polls and other *GEEK STUFF* that matters, this kind of thing works to endear customers to brands. After all, who doesn’t love The Office?
Denny’s diner has a pretty cool Twitter account. They keep it real and are very conversational and have an engaged following. Social media pros found a way to be cute and playful on Twitter during the coronavirus pandemic. They pulled this off by making downloadable meeting backgrounds for people’s Zoom/Skype/GTM calls.
But that’s not all. They have a few other amusing Tweets that have been generally amusing throughout all of this.
Costco’s approach to Twitter should remind each and every one of us to reply to everyone. Reply to every single person who engages with you on social media. Especially for smaller brands, there is no excuse not to do this. It has huge potential. And you don’t always have to be nebulous and non-controversial. Sometimes the internet loves nothing more than a side eye or straight up shade.
This last one isn’t really “ha-ha!” as much as it is a reality check that even companies who have no political affiliation and have formerly been all about randomness and sarcasm can get on a soapbox and go viral. In other words, you don’t have to do what you’ve always done.
Need another laugh? Go here to check out a list of marketing fails I compiled… just because they made me laugh.