The trend for companies taking a cheeky tone on social media is picking up the pace, with some absolute corkers from the likes of Tesco Mobile, Royal Mail and others in recent months.

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It’s refreshing to see corporates get involved in banter across social media – but it’s only really funny if it’s genuine.

Take the recent case of a couple breaking up in the comments section of a Burger King instagram post, for example. Some laughed for a while, others scrambled to watch it unfold, but it didn’t take long for people to question its authenticity. Many now believe that Burger King had created the accounts and fabricated the story themselves.

Why would they do this? Well, the theory is that they were jealous of Wendy’s.

Yes, really.

Across the pond, Wendy’s are well known for their witty comebacks and often rack up tens of thousands of retweets – competitors of the restaurant will have seen their social media triumphs, and likely put strategies in place to try and knock Wendy’s off their pedestal.

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It can be frustrating when a rival business is hogging the limelight, but trying to mimic the banter of another company by setting something up, just isn’t funny.

Consumers tend to be drawn to companies who don’t try and reach out too often, but rather attract business in their direction by being as natural as possible when it comes to customer interaction.

In the case of Wendy’s (and many other big name brands such as Greggs or O2), using humour as a tool to attract online attention has worked wonders – but some are still trying to learn the ropes.

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There’s a fine line between banter and needlessly insulting potential customers – Virgin Trains’ poor attempt is pretty cringeworthy.

The key is to understand when using humour on social media will be beneficial. Sometimes laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes it really isn’t.

Realistically, even if Burger King hadn’t been found out, how much extra business would a couple breaking up in the comments section of an Instagram post actually bring them?

The story might have caught people’s attention briefly, but PR for PR’s sake is actually pretty pointless.

Uncategorised When banter backfires
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