When it comes to a company’s online presence in the modern era, I’ve found two things to be true. The first is that a majority of companies are now using social media as a tool to advertise products or services. The second is that Twitter provides the most opportunities for interaction. The platform provides both consumers and organizations access to a public arena where two-way communication runs seamlessly.
These opportunities have resulted in a type of formula for businesses’ Twitter profiles. It’s the norm for these corporate Twitter accounts to adopt a professional tone and use their traditional advertisements as a guide.
Oftentimes, large companies use platforms like Twitter as a quick form of crisis management. If something bad happens and a customer tweets about it, companies usually respond and make it publicly known that they care about fixing problems.
However, Denny’s takes a different approach with their social media. These tweets aren’t meant to entice you to visit your closest Denny’s and order the new special. In fact, most tweets aren’t even about breakfast food. They seem to come straight from the mind of a teenager who hacked Denny’s Twitter account (or an intern who knows how to have a good time).
Denny’s unusual tweeting habits have increased their social media relevancy and helped them connect with a younger demographic, which many competitors have failed to reach online.
Waffle House, another popular breakfast chain, maintains a professional presence on Twitter and typically only communicates with adult customers who are more likely to tweet them about their experiences. Waffle House is running their Twitter account by the book, yet Denny’s currently has 254,000 more followers.
This unique voice has existed on Denny’s Twitter since July 2013, when the South Carolina-based advertising agency Erwin Penland was hired to run the breakfast food chain’s social media accounts. Since then, Denny’s unique approach to Twitter has led some chains to follow suit. They are currently ahead of rival IHOP by only 42,000 followers, a small lead that is likely due to IHOP’s attempt to employ humor similarly.
The numbers are evidence that there’s an untapped market for consumers who want to be entertained by ridiculous content. Denny’s account proves humorous sharable content reigns supreme, regardless of your industry.
Emily Hillhouse is a sophomore majoring in public relations and international studies with a minor in Italian at The University of Alabama (UA). She is the secretary of UA PRSSA, the communications director for the Alabama International Relations Club and the social media director for UA’s CMA EDU chapter. She enjoys Hamilton, Kanye West, unsweet tea and politics. Find her on Twitter @em_hillhouse.