Was Hostess’ #OpeningDay Tweet A Social Media Slam Dunk?
Snack cake brand plays dumb with "touchdown" baseball reference, then reaps record engagement levels on its Twitter account.
When is a social media flub not a mistake? When it’s on purpose.
Hostess Snacks jumped into baseball’s Opening Day Twitter fray with a tweet that at first glance seemed like a major league gaff: including “TOUCHDOWN” in an image celebrating the first full day of MLB competition.
— Hostess Snacks (@Hostess_Snacks) April 6, 2015
The tweet sparked an immediate reaction on Twitter, as per usual when brands slip up:
@Hostess_Snacks Umm… shouldn't that be "Home run"?
— Tom Misson (@tom_misson) April 6, 2015
— rhythm7a (@rhythm7a) April 6, 2015
@Hostess_Snacks Oops !!! Wrong sport….. I'm actually insulted
— heather (@heatherbelle585) April 6, 2015
— Will Thompson (@thrillis4) April 6, 2015
But before too long, it became clear that Hostess’ “error” was meant to be a joke. A Hostess PR rep emailed this statement to Business Insider: “Since embarking on the ‘Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever’ nearly two years ago, Hostess has employed a strategy aimed at contemporizing the brand. The bolder approach has been particularly visible in the brand’s social media platforms. The Touchdown’ line was intentional; it’s fun and aimed at young audiences who are in on the running joke — which, of course, is the goalllll.”
Many people on Twitter didn’t have to be told it was a joke, or were having fun with it either way:
— Dan Moyle (@danmoyle) April 6, 2015
— Matt Miner (@MattMinerXVX) April 6, 2015
— Brian P. Mangan (@brianpmangan) April 6, 2015
However you slice it, Hostess’ tweet received far more notice than it would have been if it had included only proper baseball terminology.
The tweet received 763 retweets and 430 favorites in the first 4 1/2 hours, a rate of engagement that’s off the charts compared what Hostess gets for its average tweet. According to social analytics firm Spredfast, it’s a 52,886% increase over the brand’s average number of RTs and 21,082% over its average favorite total.