Once in a while a gem pops up on social channels. We've seen it before in the form of brands dissing each other or in this case, when brands chat on social media. Whether planned or by chance, these examples are social media wins for all those involved.
Social media is traditionally thought of as a brand-to-customer or customer-to-brand marketing channel.
But what happens when brands chat on social media? The past year has shown us how fun, engaging, and sometimes controversial it can be when brands start to converse on social media – pushing the boundaries of brand marketing with each post.
Here’s a look at some of the best and most controversial examples of brand-to-brand communication on Twitter.
Brand-to-Brand Communication For Good
MoonPie and Wendy’s
Been working on a play all afternoon where everyone in the play is named MoonPie let me know what you think pic.twitter.com/THlpFoYOnY— MoonPie (@MoonPie) December 16, 2017
One thing MoonPie and Wendy’s are doing particularly well is interacting with other brands on Twitter in order to spark conversation and engagement between two audiences.
In a recent AMA on Reddit hosted by Wendy’s, one user asked what their favorite Twitter account is (besides their own). Wendy’s responded:
Which then prompted this response from MoonPie:
This simple Tweet received more than 250 Retweets, 6,200 Likes, and 47 responses. One user even mentioned that they began to follow the MoonPie account because of the shoutout from Wendy’s.
In this case, both brands showed just how fun and engaging brand-to-brand communication can be. This helped to humanize both MoonPie and Wendy’s through authentic conversation.
London’s Natural History Museum and Science Museum
When Bednarz O’Connell asked this seemingly innocent question, he sparked one of the greatest Twitter wars to ever go down.
The Natural History Museum replied:
We have dinosaurs. No contest.— Natural History Museum (@NHM_London) September 13, 2017
Feeling like they weren’t going to be defeated, the Science Museum came back with:
This continued for dozens of tweets and several days. Each brand showcasing why their exhibits are the best in London.
We have robot dinosaurs, Pterodactyls and the most venomous creatures on Earth. Plus volcanoes and earthquakes ... And vampire fish. pic.twitter.com/H2dNv0wgQr— Natural History Museum (@NHM_London) September 13, 2017
What about this merman & we do have a Polaris nuclear missile as Khalil says! pic.twitter.com/uczMFrvKIw— Science Museum (@sciencemuseum) September 13, 2017
Many marketers would argue that getting into a Twitter war with one of your competitors is a bad thing. We beg to differ. In this case, the press and publicity generated was a win for both brands. Each kept the conversation PG and in good fun proving that brand-to-brand conversation doesn’t have to be negative.
Brand-to-Brand Communication For Worse
Wendy’s and McDonald’s
Speaking of negative brand-to-brand communication, Wendy’s was back at it again with this tweet calling out their biggest competitor McDonald’s on a mistimed post:
Black Friday **** Need copy and link****— McDonald's Corporation (@McDonaldsCorp) November 24, 2017
Wasting no time, Wendy’s tweeted:
When the tweets are as broken as the ice cream machine. https://t.co/esdndK1iFm— Wendy’s (@Wendys) November 24, 2017
Wendy’s has earned the reputation as the “sassy” brand on social media and this post showed just how snarky they can be.
McDonald’s attempted to respond, but by then it was already too late:
When you tweet before your first cup of McCafé… Nothing comes before coffee. pic.twitter.com/aPJ2ZupS9b— McDonald's Corporation (@McDonaldsCorp) November 24, 2017
The damage was done. The Wendy’s tweet engagement climbed up into the hundreds of thousands and the best McDonalds could do was watch it all happen.
SF Bart and LA Metro
SF Bart, like so many other brands these days, has grown their social accounts through quirky and brash tweets. This time, they challenged the LA Metro team to a Haiku battle:
We challenge @metrolosangeles to a transit poetry slam. Haikus only.— BART (@SFBART) June 24, 2016
Your move, LA.
They came out firing:
Believe it or not— BART (@SFBART) June 24, 2016
There's a subway in LA
(Transit, not sandwich)@metrolosangeles
At first, LA Metro didn’t respond, but they finally decided to get in on the action by calling out the Golden State Warriors:
A sensitive subject for lots of people in the Bay Area.
SF Bart wasn’t going to let that go:
And the conversation went on and on with each brand (seemingly) throwing shade with every tweet.
This example of brand-to-brand conversation seemingly teeters on the “for worse” side, but both sides came into the “battle” with a nod towards fun. And the entire twitter exchange showed a mutual understanding and appreciation of their respective hometowns. Exchanges like these, with old-fashioned ribbing, can be a social media win for audiences and the brands involved.
Your Move As A Brand
Brand monitoring tools give marketers a plethora of resources to be able to join and start brand-to-brand conversations like we saw in the examples above.
Chatting with other brands on social media is a great way to spark engagement between two very different audiences – often those of competitors.
The key is to make sure that each message is on-brand and carefully crafted. As with other types of social media posts, the ultimate goal of brand-to-brand communication is growing a loyal and engaged audience.