The New Wave Of Twitter
Twitter originally started as a social media platform where users interacted with their friends online, and as it became increasingly popular, corporations started creating accounts to increase their brand awareness. As time went on, marketers saw the value in creating relatable content on this platform, starting all the way back in 2009 when KFC tweeted, “Gonna watch a little college basketball. I’m told I’m kind of an expert on buckets,” and Pizza Hut tweeted, “Devouring a Supreme Personal Pan as motivation for my first tweet.” This was new for Twitter; seeing brands using such a personal tone. Initially, tweets from brands were very formal, and almost commercial. As we continue to fly furiously into the future, our ways of marketing have followed us, ever evolving.
Nowadays, it seems like brands can post whatever they want, from roasting other brands to my personal favorite, the “I can’t do this anymore,” tweet from Sunny D in February of 2019. What marked a huge shift was the use of the word “I”. Brands started tweeting in the first person, which made their persona that much more personal. The use of the word “I” offered the ability for people to respond, because it made them feel like they were talking to a real person, not just a corporation behind a screen. Not only do average Twitter users interact with brands, but now brands interact with other brands and celebrities as well. We’ve seen the infamous roasts between Wendy’s and McDonalds, (which resulted in a mixtape), the interaction between Burger King and Kanye West in 2018 and even Potbelly and the US government in January 2019. Twitter has always been a comedic landscape, and brands jumped on the train at the perfect time. In the midst of an era of intense self-deprecation, political agendas and memes, brands found their home.
It’s not all fun and games though, with every joke comes controversy. I won’t get into that, but let’s just say, the Veggie Tales commemorating 9/11 probably wasn’t their best idea. Now that we’re inching closer and closer to 2020, where are brands now? And where will they be when the new year arrives? Brand Twitter’s current state isn’t entirely in shambles, but it’s looking like it may be soon. When brands try to be relatable on Twitter these days, people don’t really take a liking to it like they used to. People tend to reply to relatable brand tweets by saying, “SILENCE BRAND,” with an accompanying meme. Twitter users now have a grasp on why brands do this; to generate sales. It was all fun and games in the beginning to see brands be edgy or relatable to their audience, but now I think we know in our hearts that their main motivation is money. Not saying that’s a bad thing, considering they were successful, but users don’t enjoy being a money suck, and that may be what started the hate on brands. How will the landscape be used in 2020? Well, hopefully we all have 20/20 vision to see it for ourselves.