Written by Ryan Erskine
In 2017, then-16-year-old Carter Wilkerson jokingly asked Wendy’s on Twitter how many retweets it would take to score him a year’s worth of free chicken nuggets. To Wilkerson’s disbelief, Wendy’s actually responded “18 Million,” and he pleaded with the Twitterverse to help him reach that noble goal.
That Twitter exchange has since racked up 3.5 million retweets, breaking the record Ellen DeGeneres set with her 2014 Oscars selfie. Wilkerson got his nuggets in the end, and Wendy’s earned a flood of praise and positive press for the virality of the social media interaction.
Within 6 weeks, Wendy’s had earned 2.5 billion media impressions and 5 million mentions of Wilkerson’s quest for nuggets, increasing overall mentions of the brand by 376 percent.
Businesses pay a lot for that kind of virality — it’s a dream come true for content marketers everywhere. But what kind of impact does Wendy’s social media activity have on its bottom line? What’s the right way to measure this kind of customer engagement, and does Wendy’s sell any more chicken nuggets as a result?
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