To Twar or not to Twar: the modern brand dilemma

Wed, 19/09/2018 - 08:00

Brands roasting brands through Twars (Twitter war) can be a good strategy. But then again, it can certainly backfire. Recently, Absa attempted to clap back at Nando’s after the bank was referenced in a, well, non-flattering way in its latest video. Absa attempted to return the favour with a Tweet commenting on the price of Nando’s chicken. The thing is, if you’re willing to create the heat, you better be able to take the heat. And when Nedbank and Capitec Bank fired shots at their competitor, the heat was on and Absa had to leave the kitchen. Even Absa’s own clients got onboard with throwing shade in the Twittersphere. 

So, how do you know when to Twar and when not to Twar?

Know your opponent. Firstly, you need to know your opponent through and through. Or rather, know their social media team. Will they take the joke? Perhaps hit back with a little friendly humour? Do they even have a sense of humour? And you have to be honest with yourself, do they have a history of winning Twars while your brand, well, doesn’t? If your brand is usually serious, you need to make sure the agency that handles your social media knows what it’s doing. 

How controversial is your brand willing to be? In short, how far are you willing to go to win a Twar? Well, you don’t actually have to win. You just need to hold your weight and not land up on a list of #brandfails. You can’t go from serious financial advice to roasting a competitor. And if you want to drop the mic, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to do it again. Once you’ve won followers, you need to please them in order to win them over and retain their brand loyalty. It’s as easy to unfollow as it is to follow. 

Think about your brand’s weak points. If, say, you’ve been criticised for charging too much in the past, don’t tweet about another brand charging a large amount. Take a look at your brand and think carefully about whether you can target another brand or even respond to another brand’s commentary. If your brand has faults that are easy to point out, maybe don’t draw attention to the area where that weakness lies. 

There are many perks to being witty on social media. It could do your brand many favours. However, it could also have your brand blushing in embarrassment. So, if you want to go to Twar, choose your hashtags wisely. Choose your opponent wisely. And choose your reasoning wisely. Actually, just be wise about the whole thing. At the end of the day, you should have a digital marketing agency that knows what it’s doing when it comes to social media strategy. And remember to think before you tweet.

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