27 July 2023 |

McDonald’s posted the perfect brand tweet


Welcome to Social Files — your no-BS guide to building a successful social media presence.

Having one of those weeks as a social media professional when you want to delete your entire digital footprint and go off the grid. Some people say they want a farm… but I’d like to peace out to a Spanish beach town.

The show must go on, and I’ve got a banger of an edition for you today:

  • Breaking down McDonald’s perfect brand tweet from earlier this week
  • Showing you how to use the same principles to leverage trending content in your own social content strategy
  • Plugging my favorite social media resource of the week for you to learn from

Super quick read, too.

For you to understand this, you’re going to need some context.

Right now on TikTok / Reels, there’s an account run by an Italian woman named Monica Poli who roams around Venice spotting pickpocketers. She’s been at it for 30 years. What a legend.

When she finds a suspect, she yells “Attenzione, pickpocket!” at the top of her lungs — scaring off, and probably embarrassing, the criminals. Kinda like Italian Batman. Close enough.

Anyway, her videos have been going viral on short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels (I know I’ve been seeing them semi-regularly).

Here’s an example if you want to check it out.

And on Wednesday, the McDonald’s brand account leaned into the trend with this absolute heater of a tweet:

By the numbers:

  • 445 replies

This is a perfect example of how a company should think about hopping in on internet trends.

TAKEAWAY #1) The best social teams know how to find through-lines between the company and internet trends.

The Hamburglar was already part of the McDonald’s Cinematic Universe (we’re calling it that, okay?). Also, today I learned that there’s an entire McDonald’s wiki. Who knew.

Point is: when there’s a semi-obvious connection between something in your brand’s ecosystem and a trending internet moment (like the Hamburglar 🤝 pickpocket overlap), that’s an opportunity for your company to lean into the trend and hijack some attention.

How do you train this skill?

Simple. Spend a little too much time on the internet. There really is no ‘hack’ here. I’d just recommend intentionally scrolling social platforms for ~20-30min per day to identify common patterns and talking points. Not every trend needs to be tied back to your brand, but when you find one, pounce on it.

TAKEAWAY #2) The trend is relatively harmless and brand-safe.

The best social teams have a rigorous filter for what trends they tap into. Not every piece of celebrity drama, not every meme template, not every TikTok trend is meant to be posted from a company page.

The great thing about the Attenzione, pickpocket trend?

There’s no IP that they can get in trouble for using. There’s nothing offensive (or nothing that can be interpreted as offensive) in the videos.

So, it’s brand-safe and low-risk.

TAKEAWAY #3) Trending content allows you to move fast.

This wasn’t an elaborate campaign.

This wasn’t a cinema-level production.

This was literally a still image of a character that already existed, and 2 words.

Quick. Scrappy. Raw. And it crushed!

Moving quick on testing low-risk, high-reward content is a foundational part of building a successful social presence. I love how a massive company like McDonald’s still puts their social team in a position to execute like this.

If a multinational corporation with millions of followers across platforms can trust their social team to move quick… I promise, your startup can too.

For these 3 reasons, this post is going in my Swipe File. I use these types of prompts all the time with my clients (personal and brand accounts).

By the way, if you want to grab my exact Swipe File template I use to keep track of inspiration and never run out of content ideas, check it out here.