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Social Media Rules of Engagement: Know Your Role, Corporations

Wendy’s Twitter is famous for its clapbacks. Whoever is running the account is witty, sharp and biting. They constantly roast other fast food chains, reply aggressively to tweets whining about their service or product, and provide legitimately entertaining content. It’s no wonder they have over 3 million followers despite providing exceptionally gross food aside from their Frosties.

Others have followed suit and had their moments of hilarity, mainly from roasting each other and engaging in silly banter. Arby’s even had a beef over roast beef. A key component to these fast food twitter accounts’ funny moments is who they are. They’re fast food chains. No one is looking to them for words of wisdom, intelligent information on the nature of the market, or moral guidance. Their tweets are exactly like their food; cheap and easy. This is what allows them to provide social media entertainment, and thereby effective marketing.

More serious companies don’t have the same luxury. I don’t want to hear a prominent Law Firm’s take on 30-50 feral hogs or whatever nonsense is occurring that week. If you are a wealth management firm and you try to hop on a meme trend, you will become the meme. You’re no more a part of the fun on twitter as a dad trying to fit in with his thirteen-year old son’s friend group, and you sound like Hillary Clinton making “Pokemon go to the polls”, quips, you out-of-place, senile monster. Go ahead, give us your best shot at the handshake meme, and watch as thousands of adolescents pour “Hello, fellow children” GIFs into your replies. You’re outmatched!

As I peruse my timeline, chuckling softly to the massive inside joke that non-political twitter is, I might come across a promoted tweet from a serious, established corporation. Perhaps it’s a medical insurance provider. I just turned 25; I need one of those (do your thing, Zuckerberg, send me your choice). Truth is, I know nothing of the industry, and the tweet would serve simply as a reminder for me to purchase insurance, so it might as well be from them. But if I’m on Twitter slinging wisecracks and trading favorites and I’m suddenly accosted by AIG attempting to fit in with a meme as old as Vine, there’s zero chance I’m going to trust them with overseeing my shaky medical well-being. There’s a better chance I’m screenshotting and roasting them to anyone I can than I give an agent a ring to see if he has the plan I need (seriously, I have no idea how one goes about obtaining health insurance. Is that for when I turn 26, or am I in danger currently?)

Twitter is for making jokes. It’s for arguing, it’s for wasting time, it’s for DM-sliding, and it’s also for old, responsible people and/or companies to advertise the reliable service they provide. Everyone has their role, let’s just not mix them up. Thanks everyone, if you need me I’ll be tweeting jokes that will become irrelevant within 24 hours.

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