Meghan Irwin, a communications specialist who runs social media for Waffle House, seen here eating a waffle in a very patriotic onesie on July 1, 2014. By Seth Fiegerman2014-07-01 16:53:05 UTC
From the moment the first World Cup match kicked off last month, brands have been vying for any and all opportunities to turn the soccer games into a real-time marketing moment. The news that the U.S. team would play Belgium pretty much served that opportunity to Waffle House on a platter.
On Monday, the U.S. waffle chain decided to show support for its home country ahead of Tuesday’s match against Belgium with a so-called “boycott” of Belgian waffles. A tweet announcing their war against Belgian waffles has since been retweeted nearly 15,000 times.
We don’t believe in Belgium waffles
— Waffle House (@WaffleHouse) June 30, 2014
Unlike other brands on Twitter, Waffle House didn’t dress up its tweet with a photoshopped image, insert ample amounts of branding or link to something on its website. Waffle House didn’t even proofread it. (As Twitter users quickly pointed out, it should say “Belgian,” not “Belgium.”)
The mastermind behind that tweet is Meghan Irwin, who joined Waffle House in early 2012 as a communication specialist and maintains its various social media accounts with the help of one other PR representative. Some might call her Waffle House’s social media strategist, but as she made perfectly clear, Waffle House doesn’t really have a social media strategy.
“I think we like to keep things very organic,” Irwin told Mashable in an interview. “I think it takes away from our brand’s personality if we try to put too much strategy or too much thought into something.”
And so it was that Irwin awoke on Monday morning and decided to riff on the many “I believe” tweets around the games with one saying it does not, in fact, believe in Belgium/Belgian waffles. “It was how I was feeling yesterday morning,” she says of her thinking for the tweet.
In truth, there was a little more to it than that. The idea for the tweet originated from a tweet directed at Waffle House asking its opinion on Belgian waffles after the U.S. officially advanced to play Belgium.
— Waffle House (@WaffleHouse) June 26, 2014
Heading into the World Cup, Irwin says she simply wanted to use the Waffle House Twitter account to tweet about “supporting America” and, of course, to raise awareness about Waffle House.
— Waffle House (@WaffleHouse) July 1, 2014
“It’s kind of funny how a lot of people don’t know we’re on Twitter,” Irwin says. “This has definitely opened up peoples’ eyes to say Waffle House is on social media.”
Waffle House has gained about 1,500 new Twitter followers since the “Belgium waffle” tweet went up on Monday morning, according to Irwin. Normally, it gains about 50 followers a day.
Perhaps its non-strategy is finally working.
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