Yo @Wendys how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?- Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
On April 5, teenager Carter Wilkerson sent this tweet inquiry to the Wendy's Twitter handle. The brand promptly replied "18 Million" which Wilkerson responded:
As they say in the clickbait headline world, you won't believe what happened next. A follow-up tweet from Wilkerson's end saying:
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3- Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
Inspired Twitter to take action and start retweeting his plea, adding the hashtag #NuggsForCarter.
Less than a month later and as you can see Wilkerson's tweet is on its way to becoming Twitter's most retweeted tweet ever. Currently at 3.1 million retweets, the request for chicken nuggets is poised to potentially topple the site's most popular retweet: Ellen DeGeneres' 3.3 million record-breaking celeb selfie snapped at the Oscars. The hashtag even comes accompanied by its own Emoji now: a tiny red Wendy's box full of nuggets. #NuggsForCarter is a once in a lifetime kinda tweet that can teach us all a few lessons about social media's positive side.
Here are three standout notes.
1. It pays to listen to and engage with your audience
None of this would even be happening if Wendy's wasn't listening to their audience and engaging with them.
Imagine if Carter had tweeted at another brand that was less responsive - the tweet would have fallen on deaf ears before disappearing somewhere into the Twitterverse. But because Wendy's was listening, and did respond back (quickly too, about a minute later), Carter was able to move forward with his tweet - albeit in a way that nobody expected.
It should also be noted that a spokesperson from the Wendy's team says that interacting with fans on social is natural behavior from their end. They enjoy responding to followers and don't single out or skip over any one Twitter account either.
It just goes to show that by not engaging with fans on Twitter, you could be missing out on a truly great conversation, or even one as simple as answering a burning question they may have.
2. Everyone loves a Cinderella story - especially social media influencers
Much like Cinderella who went from rags to riches, #NuggsForCarter is the story of an ordinary boy's extraordinary dream that could very well come true. But it'll take much more than just fans to make the impossible possible.
Enter the fairy godmothers, or in this case, the social media influencers. Brands with substantial reach like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have all retweeted #NuggsForCarter to their respective audiences, adding their own messages of encouragement to the guy who started it all.
Celebrities have also joined in the conversation, including actor Aaron Paul, Victoria's Secret supermodel Martha Hunt, and yes, even Ellen DeGeneres. DeGeneres has nicknamed Wilkerson "Nugget Boy" and even brought him on her show, encouraging everyone to retweet his tweet (but include another retweet for her famous Oscars selfie too).
3. #NuggsForCarter is fun
Will Wilkerson's dream of winning 365 days' worth of free chicken nuggets come true? While only time will tell if he'll hit the 18 million retweets mark (still a fairly long way off, realistically), it's thrilling to see everyone - from brands to stars to countless Twitter users throughout the world - come together and use social media for good in the effort to help a teenage boy's hungry and humble tweet blow up into a positive movement.
At the end of the day, what we'll remember from this time was that everyone had fun with the quirky #NuggsForCarter - which was fully the intent for a tweet that started as a joke too.