From breaking and communicating news, to helping popularize memes, Twitter has an incredible ability and power to inform, influence, and guide users.

Take note: These users are also your potential customers. And as a brand or business, you may already know content is king. But on Twitter, success does not mean sending out 50 tweets a day. Your follower count, although important, isn't the end all, be all, either. So what does success on Twitter look like? Think audience engagement.

These four brands have cracked the code for making a serious impact on Twitter. There are lessons to be learned.

1. Wendy's

You know this fast-food chain for its burgers and signature Frosty. But if you're an active Twitter user, you also know Wendy's for its impeccable social media presence. Back in 2017, one teenage user asked the Wendy's account how many retweets he would have to acquire for a year's supply of chicken nuggets. After the company gave him a meager "18 million" response, the teen broke Twitter's record for most retweets, after a week's worth of support from brands and celebrities. The viral tweet led to free nuggets and a $100,000 donation from Wendy's to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Since then, the Wendy's account hasn't slowed its roll, and still updates its social media in a funny and interesting way.

2. Chipotle

Who knows its audience better than Mexican-inspired grill Chipotle? Not only does the Chipotle Twitter account know what products its customers want, but the account reveals how customers behave too. Chipotle tweets using language and humor that consumers can relate to, and even references current trends, as in its tweet about Marie Kondo, who has recently found major popularity due to her Netflix show.

3. Denny's

Restaurant chain Denny's knows how to keep the focus on its popular food items, and it knows how to do this in topical and engaging ways. When users were posting before and after pictures because of the online #TenYearChallenge trend, Denny's made sure to take part in the fun, too. The Denny's Twitter account reads less like the account from a corporate brand and more like one from a funny friend or neighbor.

4. MoonPie

Maybe you wouldn't expect a marshmallow sandwich that has been around since 1917 to be a hit during the internet age. The reality is, MoonPie's Twitter account is successfully taking advantage of and repurposing popular joke formats and online memes in order to promote its product. As a result, the brand is not only having fun but also connecting with younger Twitter audiences. 

You don't have to be a Millennial or online all the time to succeed at using social media. You just have to find the brands that are doing it right, and emulate their tactics.

Published on: Feb 28, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.