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Welcome to 2018 – where social media is full of fun, outrageous takes and opinions and a whole lot of trolls. Trolling on Twitter has become such an epidemic that it’s made headline news a few times over the past few years (cough cough Kevin Durant…and do I dare say Bryan Colangelo?) However, I’d argue that when brands and organizations throw shade at one another it’s beneficial to their brands and, quite honestly, the engagement of their social media profiles. Here I’ll go into a few brands that are known for their “troll-game” and why exactly this became the way it is:


Okay, so is anyone surprised that they’re first on my list? Wendy’s has been trolling other fast food companies for a while now and no other restaurant is safe…. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

SMM Agency - Case Study - Wendy'sAs you can see, no other restaurants are safe – and not even their own customers can escape the wrath and playfulness of Wendy’s. Now from a strictly marketing perspective, these are the types of the tweets that go viral. Don’t believe me? That burn targeted at McDonald’s had 12k retweets and 28k likes, the average on their four previous tweets that included messaging on their own branding and promotions, was only 1,692 retweets and 11,467 likes. You may not realize exactly what these numbers imply but here’s an easy breakdown. The more a tweet is retweeted and liked, the more it shows up in other people’s timelines. This means there are more people who are seeing Wendy’s logo, messaging and therefore subconsciously begin to crave their food. Wendy’s strategy is simple, go viral and get in front of as many people as possible. In my opinion their “burn” strategy is most definitely paying off!

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The NBA as a league does such an incredible job interacting with one another that I couldn’t bring myself to highlight just one team (and maybe partially because I’m a die-hard Sixers fan). But in all seriousness, NBA Twitter is the best example of an organization truly embracing what Twitter was created for: engagement & interaction. They utilize their team accounts, their players, highlights from the games and even their mascots to poke fun at other teams. The NBA season is long and now the off-season has become as integral to their social media strategies as their in-season. The individuals who run these accounts have a ton of time to push creative, unique content. All 30 NBA teams often “troll” other teams but here are a few of my favorites from recent history:

SMM Agency - Case Study - Toronto RaptorsProfessional sports are a unique platform to market because not only does each team want to grow and engage their fan base, but the NBA benefits from people being engaged with teams outside of their “home team”. Therefore, when teams interact with one another they’re encouraging their fans to essentially get in on the action. The tweet above from the Raptors was not only retweeted and favorited more than their typical post, but had fans of both teams replying to the tweet “burning” each other. These rivalries lead to storylines, which leads to increased viewership on TV, ticket sales, etc. The NBA has captivated on social media and each team interacting with one another (often in burns) more than any other professional sports organization and it shows by looking at their official account. The NBA leads all other professional sports organization in followers with 27.9 MILLION! With the closest organization having 3 million less…let’s hope they keep it up!

Burn Level = ????????????????

Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets does a phenomenal job utilizing their Twitter account to get in on breaking news, viral topics, and hashtags all while engaging their followers in a fun, “troll-y” type of way. They engage with polls, quote and retweet followers, they even poke fun at themselves and how petty their tone often is. Let’s take a look at a couple of our favorite examples:

SMM Agency - Case Study - Hot PocketsHot Pocket’s strategy is to engage their current clientele, more so than it is to go viral. They have a smaller following than the previous accounts featured with 37k but every tweet they post is incredibly engaging. They talk to their fan base in the same ways in which you would communicate with a friend on social media. Here’s why this is so important – when a brand successfully makes their consumers feel important they become another asset to utilize in their marketing strategy. As Jay Baer said, “the goal of social media is to turn customers into a volunteer marketing army,” and in this regard, Hot Pocket’s has truly hit it out of the park.

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We live in a society where it is almost impossible for businesses and organizations to not utilize, or even have a social media presence. It is called social media because at its core it is social and without the social aspect, it’s just noise to your consumers. So if your brand allows – make it fun! Social media cannot only impact the perception of your business but also help enhance overall growth and revenue. Don’t have the time that’s necessary for creating fun and captivating content that will continue to move your business forward? That’s what we’re here for! Contact us today for a free consultation.