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KFC's Twitter follows all the Spice Girls for a reason

Fried-chicken giant KFC pulls off a brilliant social-media joke through the careful selection of people it follows on Twitter.

This KFC original-recipe chicken is the reason behind the chain's Twitter follows.

KFC/Yum Brands

Sometimes the best jokes are just hiding out in plain sight, waiting for you to notice them. 

Fried-chicken chain KFC may be a division of a massive global fast-food company, Yum Brands, but it has developed a reputation for viral, internet-savvy promotions. 

Let's forget the chicken keyboard, the space sandwich and that "Game of Thrones" tribute. The company's coup de grace is on its Twitter profile where KFC only follows 11 other accounts.

The 11 other Twitter users include all of the pop-star Spice Girls (Geri Horner, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie C and Victoria Beckham) along with six guys named Herb, including NFL player Herb Waters with the Green Bay Packers. 

Twitter user Edge pointed out this unusual combination on Thursday:

Edge's tweet blew up on Twitter with over 400,000 likes once the message sunk in. KFC's following habits are a reference to the chicken giant's famous secret recipe that uses 11 herbs and spices. This may be one of the cleverest uses of Twitter follows ever devised. 

A KFC representative says the Twitter follows have been live since Sept. 18, so it took about a month before everyone noticed. "Our vault was getting cleaned so I thought the best place to keep the secret recipe was on Twitter," said KFC's US digital marketing manager Bentley McBentleson in a statement. "'No one's going to look at who we're following!' I thought. Boy was I wrong. I've made a huge mistake."

We may not ever discover the secrets involved in the food recipe, but we now know KFC's Twitter-follow ingredients include Sporty, Baby, Ginger, Posh and Scary Spices.

First published Oct. 20, 9:03 a.m. PT.
Update at 9:40 a.m. PT: This story has been updated to include a statement from KFC. Another update corrected the number of guys named "Herb."