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Wendy’s wins award for promoted tweet

Twitter, the social-media micro-blogging platform, last week reported that The Wendy’s Co. of Dublin, Ohio, won its 2011 Golden Tweet honors for the most retweets for a less-than-140-character Father’s Day Tweet it had paid for.

And on Tuesday, McDonald’s Corp. bought a “promoted tweet” for most of the day that foreshadows an upcoming Big Mac promotion, which also employs web and Facebook pages.

“Wendy’s offered to donate 50 cents for every retweet, and the world responded by sharing the tweet for a good cause,” Twitter said on its advertising blog.

The winning tweet was: “RT for a good cause. Each retweet sends 50[cents sign] to help kids in foster care. #TreatItFwd.” Twitter said the tweet raised $50,000 to help foster children.

It eclipsed the Golden Tweet of 2010, which was from late-night cable television comedian Stephen Colbert, who in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico mused: “In honor of oil-soaked birds, ‘tweets’ are now ‘gurgles.’”

Denny Lynch, senior vice president of communications at Wendy’s said the simplicity of the Father’s Day tweet made it a successful campaign, which along with other efforts raised $1.8 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

“We made it easy for consumers to engage with the brand and receive a benefit,” Lynch said. “You could see you could do some good, and it wouldn’t take a lot of effort on your end.”

He added that Twitter does not release the actual volume for the tweet.

Lynch said this is the second year that Wendy’s has used promoted tweets, and the company also bought promoted tweets before the introduction of its W sandwich, which tied into Facebook as well.

Prices for promoted Tweets are not public and vary, but Lynch said it is efficient compared with other social-media advertising. The company also uses Facebook and YouTube.

“Social media is really crafted to have individual conversations, so the more you can engage your consumers — you hope and believe — the more interested they are in your brand,” Lynch said. “You are looking at your targeted audience and then how they are using social media and then look for the tactics that seem to make sense.”

Social media is handled by a combination of Wendy’s advertising agency, the brand group and the company’s public relations division, he said. The Golden Tweet award winner was crafted by the ad agency, Lynch said.

“QSR is pretty much an impulse decision. If you are deciding where you want to eat, say for lunch, you’re first going to say, ‘How much money do I have?’ and then ‘How much time do I have?’,” Lynch said. “We have to be at top of mind. … You used to be able to do that with simple advertising, now you have to have a more complex media buy, which, of course, includes digital media and social media.”

On Tuesday, McDonald’s Corp. was broadcasting a promoted Tweet that read, “It’s one of the most famous burgers in the world for a reason. Reacquaint yourself with the #BigMac.” It linked to both a web page for the promotion as well as Facebook.

The Facebook page foreshadows a “Big Mac Icon” promotion with RSVP invites from Dec. 20 to Jan. 1.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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