Five Social Media Lessons To Learn From the Denny’s Twitter - THINK DIGITAL » Digital Marketing for Business

Five Social Media Lessons To Learn From the Denny’s Twitter

Last Wednesday, the Denny’s Twitter account shared their most successful tweet yet:

It’s Denny’s venture into the newest meme on Twitter, what I call the “scavenger hunt” tweet. These tweets tell users to zoom in on a picture where they will find some sort of text leading them to the next clue. Sometimes the hunt stays located in one tweet, but other times it leads people to profile pictures or other tweets, always resulting in some sort of punchline.

The Denny’s tweet takes users around a mouthwatering pancake image, eventually ending up on the butter. Once there, the text reads, “has this distracted you from overwhelming existential dread lol.” The tweet gathered nearly 100,000 retweets and over 115,000 favorites within 24 hours. When brands try to dive in to popular memes, their tweets often end up being unsuccessful, awkward plugs for their product. Denny’s shows that it is possible to meme effectively. Let’s check out five things we can learn from how Denny’s runs their Twitter.

Work to reach your target market

First, Denny’s knows their target and works to reach them. It sounds basic. It is. But so many brands ignore that when it comes to social media. They see social posts as free advertising and think, “Why don’t I just post enough to reach every market and see what happens?” What they will end up with is a smorgasbord of content that confuses every user. You have a target market, so focus on them.

Over the past years, Denny’s has worked to reach a younger crowd. So it makes sense that they would put so much effort into Twitter. Spend two seconds on their Twitter feed and their target is obvious.

Virtually all of their tweets are just simple jokes that Twitter uses love. Younger users can’t help but laugh. Older users don’t get the jokes at all. And it works great! Most of their tweets get at least a couple hundred retweets, allowing each post to reach new users in their market. What more could you want from your social media?

Be relevant

Relevancy is one of the biggest keys to social media, and Denny’s is nailing it. Whether it’s the newest meme or the Super Bowl, Denny’s is a part of it. Every market has topics and events that they are buzzing about. Maybe it’s the Oscars, or tax season, or Spring Break; they are all thinking about something. Become a part of that conversation.

For example, on New Year’s day, someone changed the Hollywood sign to a different message. Twitter took off photoshopping other humorous messages in place of the sign. Within a few days, Denny’s took their shot at it. The way Denny’s stays relevant is very impressive. They seem to know about every topic, joke, and event that the world is talking about. Keep your ears and eyes peeled for the most recent things your market is talking about, and you can create some great content.

Be memorable

Post content that will stay in the minds of your audience. It could be humor like Denny’s uses, or you could make more emotional content. A few times a year, I see Facebook videos of soldiers returning home and surprising their families. These videos stay in my head for a while because of the emotions they bring. If humor is not what your market wants, there is definitely a strategy that will work to make your brand memorable.

Take this Christmas Eve tweet for example. Most brands planned a classic Christmas post wishing customers a happy, warm holiday. All of those brands will blend together in users’ minds and never be remembered. But Denny’s Christmas Eve tweet is memorable. It comes out of nowhere and leaves users laughing. Your brand needs to stand out from the pack like Denny’s does here.

Don’t focus on your brand too much

Users do not want to follow brands that just post self-advertisements all day. Create a channel that your users want to follow. Potentially tag other products, share interesting articles, live-tweet the biggest events. Whatever your market wants to read about, tweet it. As mentioned earlier, most brands that attempt memes, end up making it too much about them. Users ignore the relevancy of the meme because they know it is just a sales attempt.

Look at Denny’s “scavenger hunt” tweet from last week. The closest tie to their brand is that the picture is of pancakes. That might seem like it screams Denny’s, but the meme they use is generally known for random pictures. To someone scrolling through Twitter, a pancake just seems like a stock photo. The final punchline that makes the joke great is not tied to their brand in the slightest. Still, this tweet is bringing Denny’s publicity like never before. They prove that sometimes the best posts never mention a brand.

Take risks

The same advice you hear in every graduation commencement speech can be applied to social media. Try new things. Leave your comfort zone. Take risks. It is incredibly easy to unfollow any brand whose content gets old. Don’t let your users get bored of your content. The only way for your brand to stand out is for you to try things that no other brands are trying. There are obviously boundaries you should tend to, and you should always be sure to stay within your target market. Still, risk-taking is the way to a unique brand.

Denny’s took a big risk in tweeting out this decently offbeat tweet. This tweet came out following the news that Beyonce is pregnant with twins. It kept with their usual humor, but is weirder than most of their jokes. Some people reacted negatively, some people laughed like usual. In the end, it didn’t go viral, but it also didn’t ruin the Denny’s brand forever. Without taking risks like this occasionally, Denny’s would never see the success like they did in their tweet last week.


Who would have thought that Denny’s would be one of the best performing brands on Twitter? This diner, which many thought was dying off a few years ago, is wooing the younger crowd enough that they will stick around for a while. Whatever your brand or product is, take note of these things that we can learn from Denny’s Twitter account.


Still not convinced Denny’s is killing it? Check out some of our favorite tweets from them:

Leave a comment

You may also like

The world is waiting to hear what matters most to you.
We can help. Are you ready?