The popularity of the Twitter meme took off in 2018. Twitter memes are tweet formats used by multiple accounts and are intended to relate to an audience, and usually make them laugh. Twitter users and popular brands such as Pop-Tarts, Target and others use this trend to generate engagement and entertain their followers. They take popular meme formats and change the wording to better fit their brand or products. This high engagement can result in social media success—but can brands become successful on Twitter by using humor and memes?
Pop-Tarts has seen success with silly and light-hearted advertisements, and uses this same playful language on Twitter and Instagram, creating a consistent voice across platforms. A consistent brand voice is important because it allows the audience to better understand and relate to the brand. Pop-Tart’s voice is humorous, relatable and encourages engagement.
The pastry brand’s snarky or playful tweets generate thousands of likes and hundreds of retweets. For example, the brand has started blocking people who tweet about unusual Pop-Tart creations. Occasionally, Twitter users will block others who are disrespectful, and these creations are seen as disrespectful to Pop-Tarts. Most recently, an account tweeted a photo of a Dunkin’ Donuts flavored Pop-Tart with mustard on it, and Pop-Tarts blocked them. The brand then posted a screenshot of the original tweet and the blocked account with the caption “Take care.” This tweet received more than 6,000 likes and more than 800 retweets. A promotional tweet usually receives no more than 1,000 likes or 100 retweets.
Pop-Tarts also acknowledged what people were tweeting in 2018, such as: “Are Pop-Tarts ravioli?” Pop-Tarts elevated the joke and recognized it can receive engagement from its followers if it plays along. The brand has used the ravioli reference in tweets representing meme formats that became popular over the past year, and they resulted in high engagement. For example:
The use of humor and memes allows Pop-Tarts to remain relatable to its audience. This shows its audience that the brand has a personality and sense of humor similar to their own, and creates more likability for the brand.
A brand should consider or establish its own voice, then decide if a social media trend like memes fit its brand voice. This trend works well for Pop-Tarts because it knows its target audience responds to it and matches the brand’s playful reputation. If this trend does not work for a brand, that’s okay. Trends come and go and future possibilities may come forth.
As 2019 begins, there will be more social media trends to be aware of. Keep a look out for what is popular and remember to stay true to your brand voice along the way. If you or your brand is looking for guidance with social media, contact NST.