To Tweet? Or not to tweet? That is the Brand’s Question.

With today’s generation becoming more and more tech savvy, household and novel brands alike are finding themselves on social media platforms in an attempt to garner additional attention and consumption. Some of these brands have been total hits, gleaning thousands of retweets and social media interactions, where other brands have tarnished their images faster than a tweet from Justin Bieber is favorited by a thousand 13-year olds.

These two articles comparatively demonstrate how some brands can tweet away while others should stick to favoriting fan posts. Below are some of the highlights from this year’s brand tweets. 


This real-time marketing stunt by Arby’s garnered an astounding 80,000+ retweets and tons of social media attention. During the 2014 Grammy’s Pharrell decided to don an Arby’s-esque hat, thus creating organic media coverage for both Pharrell and Arby’s. 


Here you can see Hamburger Helper is just as flawless in the mornings as Queen B (Beyonce). By taking a popular lyric from a hit song, Hamburger Helper as a corporation has become more relevant and has developed a funny, sassy personality that will appeal to the social media savvy. 


Here we see some super sass from DiGiorno pizza.. #digiorno #didn’t! This is a prime example of corporations using real time events to make them interesting to their company and shareholders. This, in turn, creates a lively brand personality and a fantastic word of mouth advertising. 

The world of corporate communications does not always fall happily under the umbrella of social media. Take, for example, some of the most horrible twitter fails of this year. 


Kenneth Cole most certainly did not get the ‘reaction’ they were hoping for with this tweet. Often times, corporations are able to make fun of real-time situations and capitalize on them in positive ways. Linking civil unrest and uproar in Cairo with the launch of a spring collection is perhaps not the best way to get good business. As a result of this tweet, people spent the rest of the day tweeting negatively about the brand. 


This, for McDonalds was quite frankly a McDisaster. Originally launching a campaign #McDStories with the hopes of creating real-time, cost-effective and positive exposure for the restaurant chain quickly turned into a tirade against McDonalds. The coup d’é·tat of twitter followers quickly hijacked the story, which quickly segued into a trending twitter rant topic. After launching the hashtag, it quickly spiraled out of control and became a major P.R. disaster for McDonalds.

You may be wondering why twitter is important for corporate communications. Truth is, it is one of the most valuable yet most risky assets a company may have. When creating a name and brand for its share and stakeholders, corporations need to establish a brand identity and unique voice. Corporations with a more youthful sense of humor and brand identity tend to appeal more to younger audiences; while corporations that represent wholesome family values may be better off creating pinterest accounts of recipes. Twitter is a fantastic, free way to garner additional attention for any brand. How can corporations prevent social media massacre? What strategies could they have in place to get organic media attention and fanfare?

The only question remains: to tweet? Or not to tweet.

7 thoughts on “To Tweet? Or not to tweet? That is the Brand’s Question.

  1. Twitter definitely gives corporations the chance to get tons of positive online attention, yet it also leaves them vulnerable to very public disasters. We’re still in a whole new frontier of how companies talk to their consumers — It’ll be interesting to see how the company/consumer conversation continues to become quicker and more transparent!


  2. Social media marketing is still in its infancy. Companies are still figuring out how to use it and how it will help them. Speaking to the companies and brands that are wondering how to get organic viral reactions and followers: they have to be themselves. I follow and see promoted tweets from brands on Twitter, and they sound a lot alike to me. The “sass” or personality you mentioned, it takes time to develop. Right now everyone is trying hard and making stretches to be relevant (i.e. Arby’s with the Pharrell hat resemblance to their logo). The ALS Ice bucket challenge was a successful campaign that took like wildfire because of celebrities making hilarious videos (i.e. Benedict Cumberbatch) and then everyone wanted to prove they were tough enough to do it. I think the strategy should be to create something that engages people. The strategy has to make sense for the field or industry of the brand or company. Also, brands should avoid asking questions they aren’t prepared to handle (i.e. McDonalds, Bank of America, etc.). There have been several brands that made this mistake, and responded to the negative comments poorly. There needs to be a protocol for how to handle these social media disasters, that’s very important in protecting the brand and developing the brand’s online voice.


  3. I disagree with some examples you provided as companies being “successful ” in their tweets, like the one with the generic, looks-like-it-got-taken-with-a-potato hamburger helper that captions probably the most overrated generic artist ever, beyonce.


    • That’s the beauty of an opinion! We can agree to disagree. What I saw was a creative, authentic and true-to-brand way of relating a popular song to something one would not normally associate with Hamburger Helper. Nevertheless, thanks for sharing your perspective.


  4. Twitter is so important for brands these days. The real time communication with their stakeholders shows a more personalized experience. However, like you pointed out, there are drawbacks when humor isn’t used correctly or when someone hijacks a hashtag.

    I guess Twitter is really a double edged sword, but it at least allows for dialogue 140 characters at a time!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Twitter definitely has its disadvantages…but I think that it is so important for businesses to stay involved with their audience! It’s great seeing companies reach out to their consumers, but it is also cringe-worthy watching them make huge mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Real time communication through twitter can be tricky because companies lose credibility when they take an event and attempt to turn all of the focus to their brand. It’s important to acknowledge the event or reference and make it the main focus – not your brand because your brand isn’t the main focus. But Twitter is a monster and growing and is essential for company branding today.

    Liked by 1 person

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