Steak-umm’s Twitter following doubled in a month – all because of a rant

Traffic to the frozen meat brand’s website also increased by 463%.

Steak-umm’s Twitter following doubled in a month – all because of a rant

Campaign: Tweetstorm
Company: Steak-umm (owned by Quaker Maid Meats) 
Agency partners: Allebach Communications (social media) 
Duration: April 6, 2020

On April 6, frozen meat brand Steak-umm posted a nearly 400-word Twitter rant about the importance of relying on reliable data, not anecdotes and misinformation, during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Back in August 2017, Joey Piazza, director of marketing for Quaker Maid Meats, tasked Allebach Communications with taking over Steak-umm’s Twitter account. The goal? Personify the brand, join the cultural conversation and put Steak-umm back on the map. 

“We are talking about a legacy brand that for all intents and purposes died in the 90s and early 2000s,” said Jesse Bender, account director at Steak-umm PR partner Allebach Communications.  “When we took over [the account], I didn’t know Steak-Umm existed. From a marketing and advertising standpoint, we needed to bring people to the brand and educate them about what it was.”

Bender describes Steak-umm’s Twitter persona as “engaging, quirky and fun.” Over the years, the brand has enjoyed a number of viral moments, such as when it jumped into a conversation when Kim Kardashian tweeted at Jack and the Box. 

“That got us a whole bunch of press,” Bender said. More importantly, it helped build the brand’s engaged, active following. 

In the case of its latest Twitter thread, Bender said, Steak-umm wanted to speak directly to its audience about the dangers of coronavirus misinformation after seeing its rampant spread on social media. 

By now, Allebach Communications has earned a great deal of trust and autonomy when it comes to crafting social media posts for Steak-umm.

“We are a stream of consciousness at this point,” Bender said. 

While there is a team that works on content for the brand, Allebach Communications social media manager Nathan Allebach is the voice behind many of its social posts. After taking in all the misinformation and controversies online, he wanted to respond in a way that could cut through the noise and hopefully bring people together. 

“It was a Monday night and it just went out,” Bender said.

The Twitter thread has been liked 153,600 times and retweeted 29,000 times. This included engagement from high-profile users, including CNN’s Jake Tapper and broadcast personality (and vegan) Soledad O’Brien.

Since the thread was posted, Steak-umm’s Twitter following more than doubled to 163,100 people. Traffic to the Steak-umm site, meanwhile, increased by 463%. 

The press coverage was also intense; the campaign generated placements in a variety of outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, Eater and Vox, among others. 

This week, Bender appeared on a podcast to discuss social media strategy and brand voice with the Harvard Kennedy School.

“It was surprising,” he said. “When you think, a frozen meat brand is associated with Harvard’s school of media, it’s kind of weird.” 

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