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Understanding Twitter in 2020 for your brand


If you regularly spend time on Twitter, you’ll know how easy it is to get lost in your own echo chamber. Whether it’s politics, comedy, or brands – users on the platform tend to stick to what they know.

For example, if you missed the buzz last summer about how a fried chicken sandwich became Twitter’s biggest viral moment of 2019 it’s probably because you’re on a different part of Twitter.

As Twitter looks to steer in the next generation of users, they are providing more discovery options in hopes that it will make the platform more accessible. This provides users more of what they want and less of what they don’t.

How to find your demographic on Twitter

Despite everyone signing in to use the same platform, depending on your interests you’ll have an entirely different feed and user experience than those around you.

If you’ve ever heard about all the great things happening on “Football Twitter” or a scandal on “Film Twitter” but couldn’t find it because there are no assigned hashtags, there’s finally hope!

Twitter is developing new listings suggesting topics to users based on who they follow. This will come with new preview elements on topic listings such as related hashtags, follower counts, and even how active the topic is on the platform. A great tool for brands looking to gauge interest and measure the potential value of different communities.

For users, this is helpful because they can view an estimate of daily tweet volume before following a topic, meaning users can avoid tweet overload before they jump into their new online community.

Why context is key

If 2019 has taught us anything, it is that social context is key to a successful campaign.

During a conversation with AdWeek, Matt Derella, Global Vice President of Customers for Twitter said: “cultural relevance is a key decision factor,” (AdWeek, 2019). He claims finding cultural relevance is something every brand can aspire to and the three campaigns discussed in this blog did just that.

In true Christmas fashion, Walkers released a big-budget seasonal advert as most large companies do. This year, however, they really pushed the boat out – enlisting the help of the Queen of Christmas herself, Mariah Carey. As iconic as that already is, at the end of the minute advert, the singer takes the world’s smallest bite of a crisp in true diva fashion. Here’s the advert:

This was successful both because of how popular Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” song is, as well as her large illustrious personality. Whether people are fans of Mariah’s work or not, her persona is well known and that hilariously tiny nibble received immediate discussion.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Walkers marketing director Fernando Kahane, explained: “The challenge when you are number one is how do you stay relevant? We need to be at the beating heart of popular culture and tap into what is happening now.”

Should I use memes?

The world of “meme culture” is the rapid widespread sharing of either an image, video, or piece of text. Memes are typically humorous in nature and Walkers not only expected this outcome but were prepared.

The crisp brand prepared for this by purchasing a Twitter Spotlight for the twenty-four hours prior to their release. This meant Walkers had prime real estate on the Explore page of Twitter where the trending topics are held.

Immediately following the video release, the Walker’s Twitter account responded to people’s reactionary tweets with gifs from the video, highlighting the crisp bite and feeding fuel to the online fire. Their reactionary comms also confirmed that both Walkers and Mariah were in on the joke as they quickly became a trending topic.


If Walkers had chosen a different celebrity, their meme-worthy joke probably would not have landed as successfully. The success came from great planning and great understanding of the current cultural lexicon.

They also found success because Walkers understands the audience they’re attracting. They were prepared for the discourse they generated, using both paid and organic Twitter functions harmoniously.

What if you have a diverse audience?

For companies who attract multiple demographics, Twitter is introducing narrowcast tweets! This allows users on the platform to limit the audience and usage of their tweets, including the capability to remove the retweet function from chosen tweets. Users can also restrict tweet reach to only chosen hashtag discussions and/or to certain followers.

Used properly, it’s a great tool for businesses who previously might have relied on paid advertising, allowing you to target specific audiences without flooding your followers feeds or appearing redundant. It could be especially useful for brands operating in multiple markets if they no longer want to run location-based accounts and want to streamline their online presence.

Alternatively, if your company tweets about multiple subjects, users can select key areas of interest by only following certain subjects. A great tool as content can easily become overwhelming as everyone rushes to stay relevant.

This need to stay relevant was seen especially when Popeyes’ viral quote tweet became the conversation everyone joined in on.

Why you should create reactionary content

For clarity, Popeyes is a well known fast food company with over 3,000 restaurants operating in over 30 countries worldwide. When their first sandwich was released, it was seen as a competitor to another successful and much larger fast-food company, Chick-fil-A. The brand has a history of sponsoring and supporting organizations that oppose LGBT rights and gay marriage masked under a belief in Christianity. As a result, they’ve lost many fans and customers over recent years.

Back in August, when the sandwich was released, the $4 Popeyes sandwich earned $23 million (USD) in equivalent ad value across digital, print, social, TV and radio in just 11 days – all through the power of Twitter.

In an egregious blunder, Chick-fil-A tweeted a photo which read, “Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the [heart] for the original.” This passive attack at Popeyes read to many as insecure and with a two worded quote tweet by Popeyes saying, “…y’all good” their notoriety took off like wildfire.

The tone of their tweet is verbiage reflective of the community they serve and read as the ultimate mic drop. Cue every other chicken shop putting their name in the running for best chicken sandwich and a fast-food battle royale.

Should I jump on trends?

It’s not often that your favourite juggernauts get into a Twitter beef…especially about chicken. However, it led to thousands flocking to their nearest Popeyes location to try it themselves until they rapidly sold out.

This became a tweeting/retweeting/hashtagging frenzy where Popeyes was part of a conversation everyone wanted in on. Whether they were a news publication, celebrity, or just an average thirteen-year-old, everyone was tweeting their reaction to Popeyes’ chicken sandwich.

Twitter is so important for companies because it’s the frontline for public discourse on a campaign for most brands.

Whether planned or reactionary, a brand needs to understand the community they are targeting and the social context of their actions as much as they understand the tools provided. Through a blend of paid and organic posting, Twitter can influence the trajectory of your campaign tremendously.

If you need support on getting your brand seen, call us on 0161 850 0565 or contact us at


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