Wendy’s Locked Down Its Twitter Feed, Then Dropped a Breakfast Coupon for Friends Only

It's the most exclusive 3.6 million-member club in fast food

A screenshot of the locked Wendy's Twitter account
Wendy's took its Twitter account private this week as its breakfast launch nears. Wendy's
Headshot of David Griner

If you weren’t already following Wendy’s on Twitter, you might have to wait a bit to get behind the velvet rope with the 3.6 million of us who already were.

As part of the marketing push around the launch of its new breakfast menu on March 2, the fast food chain went “private” with its Twitter account on Wednesday, though the millions of existing followers were still allowed to see the content.

Today, the brand followed up with a move most probably expected: a coupon offer that only existing fans would see. Delivery service DoorDash is offering a free Wendy’s Breakfast Baconator with any $5 purchase.

The only way to get a promo code for the deal is to DM Wendy’s with the #WendysBreakfast hashtag, which elicits an automatic response.

The coupon was only visible to current followers.
Wendy's via Twitter

I hate to break the first rule of Secret Wendy’s Club, but my service journalism code requires I tell you this: Anyone, even nonfollowers, can DM the brand’s account with that hashtag and still get the offer. The DMs are open! So enjoy this loophole to your bacon-loving heart’s content.

Locking down a social media account might be a rare move for a brand, but it’s relatively common for some popular accounts, especially on Instagram. There, it’s essentially a growth-hacking strategy used by meme farmers and the occasional influencer. The trick is essentially that when your fans share your viral posts, it requires viewers to follow your account to see the content.

In this case, it’s unlikely that Wendy’s is specifically looking at it as an audience growth strategy so much as a move aimed at generating a quick hit of buzz before the breakfast launch. And here I am writing about it. Well played, Wendy. Well played.

@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."