Brief is the new black: Why brands are tweeting just one or two words


Shrujitha Ramanujam

April 12, 2019 5 min read

Updated on April 12, 2019

Gone are the days where tweets with perfect grammar and full sentences were the ones that got all the attention. Nowadays, brands have jumped onto a new social media bandwagon: tweeting single words or even seemingly random words. We decided to dig deeper into these brand tweets to see what exactly they were doing. Were the words actually making sense? Did these tweets get them higher engagement? Here’s what we found.

How we came up with this report:

We used Unmetric Analyze and Discover platforms to analyze posts by brands on Twitter from January to December 2018. We looked at common trends and the top engaging tweets and came up with the following analysis.

Key trends:

These unusual marketing campaigns worked in one very key way: they got brands engagement on Twitter. More than that, they acted as conversation starters with fans actively replying to these tweets.

But how exactly did they go about it to gain social attention? What was the science behind it?

  1. These random tweets were not all that random. The content was well thought of. Most brands used it to relate to trends and pop culture references that social media was abuzz with at that time or to draw reference to their products.
  2. Sometimes the tweets were obscure references to the brand’s own history that only the die-hard fans would understand.
  3. These tweets piqued the curiosity of their followers or made them react in a way that seemed to imply “I can’t believe this brand is making this reference right now” on social. This got them tons of replies and retweets.
  4. The brands ensured that they were swiftly replying to all the replies and retweets they were getting in order to continue the conversation on Twitter.

Case Studies:

1. Wendy’s


Wendy’s has always been on top of its game on social media and yet again they manage to come up a tweet that delighted the Twitterverse and grabbed attention.

They used this tweet to promote their popular Four for $4 offer. They ensured they followed up on every reply to this tweet. They also explained what the tweet meant to some of the Twitter users who didn’t understand it.

Their implementation of this new age tweeting scored them some brownie points with the Twitterati and received 92,642 interactions with an Unmetric engagement score of 1,000 (out of 1,000).

2. MoonPie

MoonPie is yet another savage Twitter handle that is not scared to dip its toes in unchartered territory.

Most brands look to optimize the time of day to tweet to get the most engagement. Moon Pie, on the other hand, tweeted just two random words “Who up” close to midnight on one random night. Tweeting it that late brought out all the night owls on Twitter to engage with their tweet. But MoonPie didn’t just stick with their random late night tweet to make this a success. It was their snarky yet witty replies that engaged the audience further.

They even got Wendy’s Twitter handle to reply to their tweet. This resulted in 31,168 interactions with an engagement score of 1,000.

3. Nintendo

This famous gaming brand took a page out of the non-traditional social media posts playbook.

For some, this tweet might just look like gibberish but to fans and followers of this brand, there is a deeper meaning. They used this gimmick to promote the release of their new game WarioWare Gold.

They had their legendary character, Wario, take over their Twitter handle for this one tweet. Wario is famous in the Mario series for his evil laughter and they used all the characters that Twitter would allow to just laugh…Wario style.

This tweet gained popularity in the eyes of their hardcore fans who understood the inside joke and also successfully managed to confuse the general audience and garner curiosity. This resulted in 235,189 interactions with an engagement score of 1,000.

4. Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets seems to have mastered the art of random but not-actually-random tweets. This brand has created quite a few such tweets.

In this particular tweet, they used just these two words to call out IHOP for recently changing its spelling IHOB in a social media stunt to get people to notice that they also sold burgers.

The simple act of deliberately misspelling their own name to pull IHOP’s leg struck a chord with the audience and drove up their social media engagement.

This resulted in 282,013 interactions with an engagement score of 1,000. This was the highest interactions any tweet received in this time period.

5. Burger King

Burger King proved its mantle on Twitter with this ingenious reference to an already trending hot-topic.

They reference the popular Yes movement by WWE champion Daniel Brown. With the attention this news was already getting on social networks, Burger King just played it smart by referencing something their audience would get immediately.

This resulted in 13,871 interactions with an engagement score of 1,000.

Here’s a look at a few more such tweets:

Applying a short tweet strategy to your brand

As a brand, this new social media trend is definitely something you can consider trying out. But keep in mind that there does need to be a well thought out strategy towards implementing this else it could fall flat.

Four things to keep in mind while doing this:

  1. Does it match your brand voice: If your brand has never engaged in pop culture references or irreverent content in the past, it may confuse your audience to start with something like this.
  2. Is it offensive? Social media and pop culture is a quagmire. Before jumping on a trend or pop culture reference, check to see that it doesn’t have undesirable alternative meanings (like Wendy’s did when they tweeted about Pepe the Frog).
  3. Ensure your content is well thought out: Does the reference make sense in the context of your brand?
  4. Most importantly ensure that you’re on top of your game. Not just for the one tweet that you put out but also the kind of witty comebacks and replies you swiftly tweet out. Doing this as a one time exercise is futile and doesn’t look good for your brand.

This is the age of meme’s and well-referenced tweets so why not dip your toes in this new social media fad and try standing out from the crowd? Humanize your brand on Twitter.

Social media has played a phenomenal role in building these brands a fan following. If you think your brand needs to revamp its social strategy and connect the dots within the data, sign up for Analyze, Unmetric’s competitive intelligence solution for brands.

For more Social Media and Marketing Campaign Tips:

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