On Tuesday night, a tweet by the cereal brand Weetabix went viral for its odd pairing of the famous wheat biscuits and Heinz baked beans. This has sparked, to date, nearly 100k retweets and over 20,000 replies, with one user jokingly quipping that the tweet deserved a Guinness World Record for the most replies by verified accounts.
— Weetabix (@weetabix) February 9, 2021
The original tweet, shown above, is a very clear example of how, sometimes, the most controversial of tweets can gain the most engagement. Indeed, as the replies flooded in on Tuesday night, it appeared as if the social media managers of every verified British brand were hopping onto the bandwagon, with the likes of Specsavers, Marmite, Domino’s Pizza, PG Tips and Xbox UK all replying with humorous remarks.
Even the likes of HMV crawled out of the woodwork to comment on the action, prompting numerous users to comment about the brand still existing.
HMV! I used to work for you. I thought you were dead.
— Ben Moore (@benge) February 10, 2021
Twitter’s more serious accounts also jumped in on the action, with various branches of the police force across the UK firing off witty replies, the NHS remarking that the tweet should come with a health warning, and National Rail joking that all services would be delayed until it could figure out what was happening.
Perhaps the most bizarre reply in the mix was that of the official account of Israel, which tweeted:
Finally something that all Middle-Eastern countries can agree on.
Also, want to know how you can upgrade your weetabix? Hummus. #HaveYouHadYourWeetabix
— Israel ישראל (@Israel) February 9, 2021
What does all this show?
In the days since the tweet, the world has been taken by storm, with the threads of replies being shared across various social media sites and news outlets. As I touched upon above, businesses should take from this the fact that controversial tweets – when approached as tongue-in-cheek, and steering clear from any serious topics like violence, politics and social issues – can be great sources of engagement.
It also shows that engaging with tweets from other brands in this way can be just as effective – just look at how many brands are getting exposure from this article alone, and this contains just a tiny portion of those that replied! For HMV, its reply was a particularly advantageous move – as many people who were not previously aware now know that it does indeed still exist.
While some may be questioning the thoughts of those behind the out-there post, Weetabix will certainly be benefiting from the serious boost of exposure, although it’s safe to say that when I ate my own bowl of Weetabix this morning, I steered very clear of baked beans, and went for a more sensible accompaniment of blueberry yoghurt instead.
At Engage Web, we always keep a sharp eye on social media developments like this. If you’d like to have a chat about how to boost your business’ engagement online, feel free to get in touch.