After The Newsjacking, Arby’s Pharrell Tweet Continues To Pay Dividends

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Looks like Arby’s newsjacking home run during the Grammys in January wasn’t a one-hit wonder.

Social analytics firm Simply Measured released a case study this week showing how the Tweet significantly boosted engagement on the company’s Twitter account in the weeks following the Grammys.

The tweet itself — Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs — received more than 80,000 retweets and nearly 50,000 favorites.  The great majority of that activity happened in the first 24 hours after the tweet, but the benefits to @Arbys have continued to accrue.

In the three weeks after the Grammys, the account engaged with 170% more people (5,652 to 2,093) than in the three weeks prior and its engagement per tweet and retweets per tweet both more than doubled, according to metrics released by Simply Measured.  This chart breaks down the before-after comparison in detail:

Arbys-Twitter-Scorecard-Before-After (1)

As we reported in January, the Arby’s social media team worked extend the buzz of the initial hit. It scored again on Oscar night when after the company bought Pharrell’s hat in a charity auction for $44,000, Pharrell replied on Twitter and the company received more feel-good mentions. To date the exchange has received more than 10,000 retweets and 7,500 favorites.

So what are the takeaways if you score a in-the-moment social touchdown?  Simply Measured’s suggestions:

1. Step up your cadence. Arby’s got a bump in engagement from this Tweet, but they also stepped up the cadence of Tweeting from 32 per week to 39 per week in our before/after comparison. This helps re-engaged people more often following the initial burst of engagement.

2. Respond quick to build deeper relationships with new audience. Arby’s has always been excellent when it comes to responding in real-time. They kept up this standard even as the “demand” grew, increasing replies per week from 205 to 418 (see table above).

3. Follow-up with similar content. Arby’s has continued to Tweet with Pharrell, about Pharrell, and engage with related topics well after the GRAMMYs. They aren’t spamming their followers with the same stuff, but they are continuing to build on the original message at the appropriate time.

4. Convert your new engaged audience to other channels. Shortly after the Pharrell Tweet Arby’s ran a promotion that could leverage their new audience to build another marketing connection.

5. Target your new influencers. The table above shows the influencers who has the biggest impact, amplifying Arby’s Tweet. This gives the brand and opportunity to engage this group again with future targeted content and direct outreach.

Of course, that’s all smart advice even if your brand hasn’t successfully insinuated itself into a major news or entertainment event. But if you can, all the better.

And if you need a reminder about how to execute a newsjacking, we had an excellent pre-Super Bowl primer: So You Want To Newsjack The Super Bowl? Here Are 6 Rules Brands Can’t Forget.


About The Author

Martin Beck was Third Door Media’s Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.

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