Wendy's boosts brand awareness with social media

Stephen Whiteside

Building mass awareness has long been an essential goal for quick-service restaurant chains like Wendy's, where a mixture of convenience and being top-of-mind among hungry consumers is vital.

If TV once dominated these efforts, social media now has a central role in generating reach, too – especially with millennials. "We have these two forces in our marketing department: awareness and this deeper conversation," Brandon Rhoten, vp/digital and social media at Wendy's, told delegates at the Social Media World Forum 2014. "Social, for us, is a deeper conversation tool, and is quickly becoming a supplement to television to provide incremental reach on platforms like Facebook.

"For us, traditional media is really moving towards this awareness model; large social-media platforms are moving towards an awareness model; and then you have smaller niche platforms – the platforms [where] you're actually having conversations one-to-one with people – are moving to this deeper conversation model."