Wendy’s is lately getting a lot of online attention thanks to its social media manager.
Last week, a Twitter user accused the fast food chain of lying about its “fresh, never frozen” beef that it uses in its hamburgers, according to this report. An exchange ensued about the company’s refrigeration methods. The user said McDonalds served a better breakfast to which @Wendy’s responded: “You don’t have to bring them into this just because you forgot refrigerators existed for a second there.” The Internet loved it.
Apparently, this wasn’t the first time the person behind @Wendy’s has exchanged barbs with the many people who attack the company online. To one user who taunted @Wendy’s to “roast me” the reply was “get one of your 51 followers to roast you.” When one inquiring follower asked if @Wendy’s was “single” the reply was “I am a restaurant.” When someone accused @Wendy’s to be an artificial intelligence powered “bot” like Microsoft, @Wendy’s replied: “Oh god what if we’re so sophisticated we don’t even know we’re robots?? WE SAW WESTWORLD!”
Snarky, snarky, snarky! This is not something commonly seen by today’s bland and politically correct corporate social media accounts. Who’s behind this dark magic?
According to a report from Mashable, it’s Amy Brown, the company’s social media manager since 2012. Brown, who got the job after “trolling” the company’s vice president of advertising on Twitter, has added quite a personality to the company’s social media presence. he’s received praises, like her response to the “fresh never frozen” comment and even made national news last year when, after being asked online what was better than Burger King’s “five for $4 deal” she famously wrote “edible food.” Yowsa!
For sure, Brown’s made her mistakes. In fact, just one day after her famous “refrigerator” take down she was vilified online when she inadvertently posted (and then took down) a meme that some thought was racist.
Many businesses make a bigger mistake: they over-think their social media posts. At some companies I work with, every tweet and posting is subject to the owner’s (or even legal counsel’s) review. Unfortunately, this undermines the very essence of what social media is all about. Social media is about timeliness, engagement, opinions. It is snarky, funny, goofy and sometimes controversial. Mistakes will be made…and the Internet can be unforgiving. But smart social media people like Amy Brown know that all PR is good PR. And her smart employer is willing to risk controversy to create more attention for itself. That’s a good lesson for all businesses looking to set themselves apart online.