Introducing the latest trend that all the big brands are exploiting… ‘sassy’ social media. “What on earth is that?” you ask. ‘Sassy’ social media involves putting out sassy, cheeky, clever, bold, brazen (insert similar word here) content, usually directed at customers in the form of replies on social media platforms. It’s not certain where the trend started and which company started it, but the brand most known for it has to be Wendy’s – the leading American fast food chain.
Wendy’s ‘sassy’ social media has hit the headlines recently with the brand’s response to 16-year-old Carter Wilkinson’s question on Twitter “how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?”. The fast food chain replied to Carter in less than a minute with a simple “18 million”. The challenge has since gone viral and #NuggsForCarter is the hashtag on everyone’s timelines. And this is just one example of Wendy’s clever counters; the brand is famous for ‘trolling’ rival fast food chains, having a good old sing-a-long and even helping students with homework. 1.78 million Wendy’s followers can’t wait to see what the brand will tweet next.
Following Wendy’s lead, brands including Samsung, Mercedes and Old Spice have all upped the level of ‘sass’ on social media. The trend is all part of viral marketing. In today’s competitive online environment, brands are competing with each other to increase engagement and get people talking. With over 40 million active businesses on Facebook alone, brands are trying everything to put themselves in the spotlight.
Why ‘sassy’? Why not educational or inspirational? The ‘sassy’ strategy is highly engaging and entertaining. People now tweet these brands with questions not relevant to products and services just to see the response they can get. Wendy’s has increased its following on Twitter by 350,000 since the start of 2017 as a result. In particular, ‘sassy’ content works well with younger audiences. Corporate, robotic responses from brands are likely to quash any meaningful relationships with millennials. Responding to customers with personalised and amusing content has a humanising effect, making it easier for customers to trust and engage with the brand.
So what does this mean for your company’s social media strategy? ‘Sassy’ social media requires greater autonomy for those team members in control of the tweet button. Quick decision-making is key, so ensure your social media team are trained and aware of the responses they are allowed to make. Most importantly, trust them; ‘sassy’ social media is synonymous with witty and sharp humour – long approval processes for each tweet are definitely not going to help.
Be aware, it’s probably not advised to include ‘sass’ in all your B2C communication. The last thing customers want is to contact a company with a serious customer service enquiry and receive a cheeky response. However, when used appropriately, ‘sassy’ content is a great way to grab attention on social media.
PS. Carter Wilkinson currently has 3.4 million retweets. Help Carter in his quest for nuggets by retweeting his post: https://twitter.com/carterjwm/status/849813577770778624