What can we learn from #NuggsForCarter?

What's it all about?

Twitter users from across the world are losing their minds and have rallied together with one greater purpose. World peace? Nope. Equality for all? Not quite.

What can we learn from #NuggsForCarter?
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It’s free #NuggsForCarter.

Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) is attempting to achieve 18 million retweets for a year’s supply of chicken nuggets from the food chain Wendy’s, and to break the world record of retweets as he goes.

In only a couple of weeks, 16 year old Carter has garnered plenty of attention from Twitter users, brands and celebrities and is currently on-track to break the record set by Ellen DeGeneres after she tweeted a selfie during the 2014 Academy Awards that harvested 3.3 million retweets.

It all began when Carter asked Wendy’s how many retweets he would need to score a year’s worth of free nuggets. The restaurant chain, who are already social media giants and probably the sassiest company around, cheekily replied with “18 Million”. Game on!

From there, Carter shared the tweet and encouraged what he believed would just be his friends to help him out. He couldn’t have been more wrong, as global Twitter users all helped him out by clicking that accustomed green button.

As I write this, the tweet in question currently has 3.2 million retweets.



Garnering mass retweets for a particular goal is nothing new. For years Twitter has seen users asking their celebrity crushes, “How many RTs for you to be my prom date?” or sharing a text conversation with their parents with the words “How many RTs for a puppy?”. But none of these have ever taken off so stratospherically as #NuggsforCarter.

It’s not only caught the attention of regular Twitter users, he has been offered everything from free mattresses, air miles, and mobile phone tariffs because of his campaign. Celebrities and brands have also been joining in for their own slice of this viral pie:


Carter is not only using his #NuggsforCarter hashtag to achieve his goal of a year’s worth of his favourite food, he’s using it to highlight and fundraise for local charities very close to his heart. The interaction has even resulted in Wendy’s fundraising for a charity established by the brand’s founder in 1992. What started out as a love for nuggets has turned into a full-blown social media trend and a philanthropic endeavour.

Even Twitter is heavily invested in this #NuggsforCarter campaign by verifying Carter and adding a bespoke emoji to the end of its hashtag. It’s not every day a non-influential Twitter user gets one of those!

So as digital marketers, what can we learn from this social media explosion?

Firstly, it’s don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to influences. (I promise this wasn’t meant to be a chicken pun!) We invest so much in our heavy influencers and sometimes forget the little guys who keep the cogs turning. We’re always looking to engage with that next big influencer but we overlook the value of our average follower, interactor, or other such digital ‘little guy’.

Carter had around 150 followers when he set out on his endeavour, Wendy’s could’ve easily ignored his initial tweet and sought a more connected user to amplify their brand – but they didn’t.

If you’re not already aware, Wendy’s social media is a delight. They’re funny, sassy, relevant, not too serious but always on brand. Although the chain is unfamiliar in the UK, their innovative, playful and soft-sale social presence has given them the opportunity for everyone around the globe to know, like and trust them.

#NuggsforCarter is proof that influence and awareness go beyond audience numbers and Wendy’s strong hold on their strategy can achieve great results.

So give Carter a Retweet and be part of Twitter history. A man needs his nuggs after all!

P.S. Carter, if you reach your goal – feel free to send some of your nuggs to our office!

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