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Burger King’s Twitter Account Hacked: Social Media Implications?

By | February 18, 2013

Fathom Digital Marketing

Burger King’s Twitter account has been hacked and it’s causing quite a buzz in the social media world. Just a few minutes ago, the account was suspended after Burger King’s Twitter picture changed to a McDonald’s logo, and obscene drug and racial references were peppered into daily posts. Some may call this a social fail, but digital marketers know better – as the age old saying goes, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”.


Image courtesy of Susan Law Cain / Shutterstock.com

Before being hacked, Burger King had over 89,000 Twitter followers, according to an ABC News report. Over the next few days, we fully expect to see the number of Burger King’s Twitter & Facebook followers spike to an all-time high, and for the company to capitalize on this social media blunder in a positive way.

Below is Google Trend’s interest report for the term “Burger King” over the past seven days – in two days, we’ll be editing this post to show you the true effect of today’s social media shenanigans on the brand’s visibility.

Social media management is about relationships & reputation – not all things are great 100% of the time. Brands get bad reviews. Customer service reps aren’t always friendly. Accounts sometimes get hacked.  The most important things to keep in mind when handling reputation issues are:

  1. Negative posts are sticky – be sure to have someone monitor your profiles as often as possible during a crisis situation, and respond to those sites that appear to be ranking well for your brand name. It’s important that your brand’s comments be among the others, so visitors see both sides of the story. Tools like Trackur, PeopleBrowser & Google Alerts make this job much easier.
  2. Honesty is the best policy – be transparent, handle issues head on and be sure to provide your company’s side of the story. Honesty is always the best policy.
  3. Call on your brand advocates – if you’re generally a good company with strong differentiators and a loyal customer base, don’t be afraid to encourage your brand advocates to speak up for you. Consumers are more likely to trust other consumers and their opinions. Whether you incentivize your brand advocates or simply ask for their help in battling a reputation issue, don’t forget to include them in your PR crisis management plan.

For more reputation management tips, check out this blog post: Top 11 Reputation Management Tips

1 Comment

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About Jenni Ramminger

Jenni is the Director of Marketing at Fathom, responsible for strategizing and executing branding, lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns. She previously worked as a Senior Account Executive at Fathom, managing digital strategy and execution for clients in the legal, technology, and ecommerce industries. She is also Fathom’s live chat implementation expert, and leader of “Web Analytics Wednesdays – Cleveland”, an event for analytics & marketing companies in the Cleveland area.

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  • Dave Crader

    Great post Jenni! So many marketers are publishing posts about “how to protect your social media account from hackers” when you took a completely different direction that I 100% agree with. Burger king got links, social followers and more. And, they come out of this looking like the victim. More of reputation issue for Twitter if you ask me.

    Now, if your PR account gets hacked that’s definitely a big deal. Imagine if someone posted a fake PR about your company!

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