9th November 2020

The curious case of the return of Woolworths and the missing blue tick

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Beth Bartholomew
Social & Content Executive
Read time: 3min
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Joined October 2020. With a broken URL and typos galore. Woolworths is back to the UK… or is it? At 12:24am on the 27th of October 2020 a certain well known, but long gone, retailer made an appearance on Twitter.

Woolworths Twitter

As a digital marketing agency, we of course know the ins and outs of the digital marketing world. So when we saw how early on Tuesday this post was made, it raised some eyebrows. But alas, we gave it the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps this was some strange marketing tact to reach those late sleepers? With no verified blue tick in sight and the repeated phrase of ‘too much traffic bringing the website down’, we were doubting this more and more with every typo and tweet.

Woolworths Fake Twitter

After a series of Tweets sent from an iPhone, the account in question @UKWoolworths https://twitter.com/UKWoolworths started to grow in engagement, reaching over 5.7k likes on their ‘announcement’ post telling the Twitter world that Woolworths has come to save 2020. Now, why are we writing a blog post all about the return of this once favourite store in the UK? We thought it was an interesting observation of how in 2020 more and more, we are turning to other outlets for our news. Social media platforms give us live updates, they give us the people’s opinion and they give us freedom. The freedom to post however we choose, and also to say we are whoever we want to be.

So, what is stopping that news from being fake? Nothing at all. This account popped up out of nowhere and has quickly jumped up by the thousands in followers in just a few hours. Not only this, but it has also grabbed the attention of many mainstream news outlets such as Daily Mail, Metro and The Sun. A top tweet from Tom Witherow has claimed “One call from me to owner Very's PR - he doesn't know a thing about it.” https://twitter.com/TomWitherow/status/1321045930209103872

It seems to be easy to defraud the fakes, and yet this is still a story that has been picked up by the masses and is now trending under ‘Entertainment’ on Twitter. Marketing campaign or not, this has certainly created a conversation between nostalgic shoppers and keyboard warriors wanting to get to the truth.

Woolworths Missed Us

As far as organic social media goes, this is a perfect example of why we must not always believe what we see on social media. We love the world of social media; we find it fascinating and we revel in learning about any new changes. This interesting trend has reminded us that not all we see is real, but it also offers some tips to look out for when spotting a fake. The main things we would suggest are:

 

  • If this is an official account for a well-known brand of business, does the account have the verified blue tick?
  • Is the language consistent and free of regular typos?
  • Are there branded graphics to accompany the messaging?
  • Is the content being posted at the relevant times for their time zones e.g. not super early in the morning?
  • Does the website URL work?
  • What are general Twitter users saying in response?

 

Following these guidelines can help you know what to look out for when spotting a fake Twitter account. Of course, this list isn’t a definitive guide, but it’s a starting point to get you more familiar with what to expect from a brand’s Twitter account. We’ll continue following along with this account and are intrigued to see in which direction it goes.