Wendy's Reddit AMA keeps the formula for the brand's secret sauce to itself, and still provides no answer to the future of Spicy Chicken Nuggets.
— Allison Robicelli
Wendy’s, as a restaurant brand, won Twitter this year, becoming known for snarky comments, snappy comebacks, and scathing roasts of their competition.
It’s legendary Twitter beefs (pun intended) with its competitors and internet trolls have earned the fast food chain a rabid following that actively engages with the brand – notably fueling a March 2017 skirmish between Wendy’s and McDonalds by retweeting an exchange over frozen beef with GIFs of the late WWE star Randy “Macho Man” Savage.
That was but one moment of a year filled with the kinds of social media moments most brands dream about. There was another viral exchange with McDonald’s in November, when the social media team behind the golden arches botched a Black Friday tweet.
When the tweets are as broken as the ice cream machine. https://t.co/esdndK1iFm
— Wendy's (@Wendys) November 24, 2017
And, of course, there’s the best of the year: a chance exchange with a Wendy’s fan named Carter Wilkerson (you know, #NuggsforCarter), where @Wendys promised him a year of free chicken nuggets if he managed 18 million retweets, led to the brand’s inclusion in the most retweeted tweet of all time (while only at 3,642,847 and counting, Wendy’s gave Cater the free nuggets anyway).
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
On Thursday, the people behind Wendy’s Twitter account hosted a Reddit AMA (that’s “ask me anything”), but if fans and professional brand-builders alike were hoping for a lesson in customer engagement and creativity, they were likely disappointed. It offered some insight into the company’s social strategy, but for the most part, questions and answers mirrored what we see every day on Twitter.
Topics included video games, memes, and “savage burns,” but prior to the official 1pm kickoff the majority of submitted questions asked about Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets, a popular menu item that was controversially discontinued earlier this year. Below are some highlights:
On trusting your gut:
Q: Being savage on the internet is scary for brand teams. How did/do you soothe their concerns?
A: Success happened before anyone had a chance to be scared. And then we just kept going through mistakes.
Q: Do you have any hard evidence that a strong social media presence boosts sales, or is actually good for the company overall? Or is it just assumed that having a positive public image is intrinsically a good thing?
A: People say they go eat because of the tweets, and no one has ever lied on the internet
Q: Hey Wendy’s Twitter, How much do you think that your account’s popularity has actually increased sales? Furthermore, why do you all think that more brands don’t copy you?
A: I think many brands are getting a more fun approach. Pop Tarts, Arby’s, MoonPie, are good examples.
On content development:
Q: How do you think of your ideas when replying to tweets? As in the roasts?
A: It’s pretty conversational. Like it just sort of happens
Q: Why do you roast McDonald’s all the time?
A: Because they deserve it
Q: How does your frosty machine never break down?
A: Wouldn’t say never, but let’s just say it’s one of the many things Wendy’s does better. cough frozenbeef cough
On Spicy Nuggets:
Q: Why did you stop making spicy nuggets!? This is a crime against humanity!
A: We weren’t really in charge of that decision, but we have seen all 18 billion of your tweets about it. The people in charge know you are tweeting about it though, so feel free to keep it up.
On other discontinued menu items:
Q: Why did you get rid of the country fried steak sandwich in the mid 90’s and will you consider bringing it back?
A: We weren’t even 10 when this happened
On Other Brands
Q: Of all of the competitors you’ve roasted, who handled the situation best?
Q: What is your all time favorite tweet?
A: Favorite of ours is probably the Wingstop Rap Battles
Q: Other brands have quality food to stand behind
A: That’s true they can all get in line and stand behind our quality food.