In one of the more thoroughly researched pieces of original Twitter reporting we've seen in a long time, Mashable highlights the 40 best brand accounts on Twitter -- including Ford, Jet Blue, Hertz and Home Depot -- and the people behind them. Well, behind 38 of them.
The only two identities Mashable doesn't get to the bottom of are of the people behind the Burger King and Popeyes Chicken accounts. That is, if the Popeyes Twitterer is indeed a person. The BK Twitterer goes by "King," but as Popeyes VP-Communications and PR Alicia Thompson told Mashable's Jennifer Van Grove, "The author of the Twitter character is too chicken to share his real identity." She added that he or she (or it) sees Twitter, "as a way to stay abreast of what our consumers are up to, and to get a leg up on the competition." Groan.
Of course, those explanations sound an awful lot like Popeyes' cheesy tweets, leading us to identify Ms. Thompson as suspect No. 1 for the human behind the Twitter account.
While Popeyes isn't the most frequent Twitterer (mostly @ replies to hungry people mentioning fried chicken in their posts), its posts have become favorites of a certain Ad Age staffer, who can appreciate witty, 140-character-or-less observations such as "Victoria's real secret: She LOVES the Buffalo Chicken Wrap. Shhh!" or "It is much better to have Popeyes in Philly than a cheese steak in New Orleans." Another recent Popeyes gem? "Why would I be full of evil? Is it because I keep everyone out of the Churchs?"
The jury might be out on exactly how much Twittering adds to a brand's bottom line. The folks behind the branded Twitter accounts say it helps in everything from disseminating local information (Whole Foods) to sending out updates when there's a breaking news event related to your business (Marriott). Or, in Popeyes case, just giving a brand a human feel. Err, at least we think it's a human feel.