Create a social-personality guide
“This should be a living, breathing document you give to your partners and anybody creating for your brand,” says Martin. While Arby’s stays pretty tight-lipped about the specifics, its four-page Social Field Guide identifies the brand’s social voice and tone, plus some do’s and don’ts,” says Martin.
Humanize the brand
Arby’s turned to what “social” used to mean—people conversing—for its strategy. To define its personality and set the tone, the chain uses adjectives in its Field Guide, such as smart, authentic, proud, friendly and serious about food. Martin also points out the equal importance of defining what Arby’s is not: arrogant and braggadocious.
Listen actively for exploitable moments
Arby’s HQ added a dedicated Social Media Listening Room outfitted with monitors to keep an eye on real-time digital conversations. “We pay attention and look for those ‘surprise and delight’ opportunities,” says Martin.
Humor is the great equalizer
When Martin’s team noticed Jon Stewart taking digs at Arby’s on The Daily Show, they discussed with execs what to do, and agreed to play along. “Given the spirit and nature of the show, trying to retaliate would have likely backfired and been a mistake.” The ongoing “feud” led to more than 7,500 tweets mentioning Arby’s in the hours following Stewart’s final show.