Welcome back everyone, it’s only been a couple of weeks into 2017 and we have already seen some actions that have set the precedent of what will get an audience’s attention on social media.

From NYE performances from both Mariah Carey and Robbie Williams causing a stir on both sides of the pond with audiences finding actions by the superstars (though for different reasons) to be both hilarious and horrifying.

However, to more serious matters. As a new year kicks off, businesses everywhere are looking at opportunities for how to take their marketing (and in turn, their social media presence) to ‘the next level’ [I loathe this saying]. However, one such company who are currently riding the wave of a new tact of dealing with social media is Wendy’s – the American fast food outlet.

The once standard run-of-the-mill, corporate social media account has since become the ‘bad boy’ of Twitter after a clash with a customer who questioned their motto on ‘fresh, never frozen beef’. In a short, but not at all sweet exchange, the Twitter Beef occurred, perfectly shown in a short video (below) by Anderson Cooper.

Since then, Wendy’s has come up with a series of tweets bantering with customers including one, which involved one customer asking the fast-food chain to write a bio for him.

Reading this far, you may be tempted to change your company’s tack as well. Not so fast.

Not everything has been sunshine and rainbows for the fast-food chain with this new tact. One (since deleted) tweet has landed the company in hot water after posting an anti-Semitic picture in response to one of its’ customers who asked for a meme.

Being relevant on social media is always a useful way of keeping you followers occupied and happy. However, don’t think that you need to be disruptive and distasteful to make a splash. Wendy’s has found itself at the end of (arguably) negative PR currently and it won’t sit well with originally, loyal customers.

For this new year, look at your strategy and do try to explore new avenues but don’t get fixated on ‘going viral’. Most of the time, if this happens, it happens for the wrong reasons. Wendy’s attempt to be relevant as we enter 2017 isn’t new, but has at least meant it’s made the news for the first couple of weeks.

A final takeaway for you all to adhere to: think about your customer’s persona and create a social account that complements this. If your target audience are ‘big buck’ bankers, a social channel posting about the latest fashion trends is going to make no impact.

At OST we work tirelessly with clients to ensure we understand not just who the client is but who their key audience is.

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