Chain restaurants will be hurt the most if Twitter removes its "Like" button
On social networks such as Twitter ($NYSE:TWTR), brands have an opportunity to not only promote their products, but also interact with loyal and potential customers.
Or as the official MoonPie company Twitter account puts it:
Marketing through social media can be done through obvious methods, such as regular and advertised posts. But some accounts go the extra mile, directly replying and talking to personal accounts. Brands do this in order to get those users to follow their brand and, in theory, buy their product.
Some accounts even "Like" Tweets that either directly or indirectly mention them, which gives the receiving user a notification of this brand seeing their Tweet and showing some appreciation for it.
Recently, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey reportedly said at a company event that the social media platform would remove its "Like" button "soon". Since this report, Twitter left an open-ended response to whether it is reconsidering this feature.
For some brands, taking away this feature would remove a big part of their Twitter marketing strategy. Without a way to like posts, companies will have to think of other ways to interact with consumers. Retweeting posts will remain as an option, but then comes the issue of Retweeting an account that has a questionable or offensive profile.
Among all the brands we track here on Thinknum, the chain restaurant industry, specifically Dine Brands Global ($NYSE:DIN), would get hit the hardest by the removal of likes. Dine Brands Global has two accounts — Applebee's and IHOP — that are among the top-ten brands with the most likes on other people's Tweets.
Applebees isn't afraid to go out and like posts from users who mention them, as they've done that to 383,000 Tweets and have not "unliked them" over time. It also has a habit of responding to posts that indirectly mention the company without using their Screen Name, something that companies and individuals have done on Twitter for years.
Joining Applebee's in the top-ten is Cinnabon, which is owned by Roark Capital Group subsidiary Focus Brands ($FOCUSBRANDS), fellow Dine Equity Brands restaurant IHOP, fast casual startup pizza chain Blaze Pizza ($BLAZEPIZZA), and another Roark Capital Group owned chain in Arby's ($ARBYS). Olive Garden is also present on the outside looking into the top-10 with over 95,000 likes on other people's tweets.
Out of the top-ten brands, Carlypso is the only one that is not verified and hasn't been active for a while. That's because Carvana bought the company in August 2017, and now the company's Twitter is essentially a virtual zombie.
Of course, outside of business, Likes can sometimes foster a toxic environment where cyberbullying can occur. In an specific use case that happened two years ago, one school in Colorado disciplined 12 students who liked a Tweet making fun of the school's choir.
As social media continues to be re-evaluated in light of recent events, the removal of Likes would definitely change the landscape of Twitter, both for regular users and for businesses.