We talk all the time about the power of social media. Every brand wants to go viral (for the right reasons, of course), but few understand the mechanics behind it. The truth of the matter is that having your content go viral – enjoying a few days, or maybe just a few hours, in the spotlight – is often the result of sheer luck.
Content created with the sole purpose of going viral is easy to spot – it feels forced. Most viral content happens accidentally. Part of it is creating something that people want to share, but perhaps even a bigger part is being in the right place at the right time. That’s why we encourage brands to be active on social media. Brands are often at their best when they engage with fans/users/customers one on one. This was perfectly encapsulated by Wendy’s this past week.
Twitter user, @carterjwm, took his shot by asking Wendy’s official account how many retweets he would need to get in order to earn a year of free chicken nuggets. Likely meant as a joke, Carter’s tweet may have resulted in a chuckle or two from his friends who follow him, but nothing more would have come of it if Wendy’s hadn’t responded. Fortunately for Wendy’s, they did respond – and the answer they gave was 18 million. Fast forward to Friday afternoon, and Carter’s tweet has 1.2 MILLION retweets and 304 THOUSAND likes.
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
Is he likely to get to 18 million? No – the most retweeted post in history is Ellen’s famous Oscar selfie, which set the bar at 3.3 million – but a simple back-and-forth has taken the internet by storm and provided Wendy’s with free advertising to millions upon millions of people.
You never know when something like this could take off, so don’t be afraid to engage with your followers.