Here at The FirstFound Blog, we’re always on the lookout for social media tips to give our clients. But after careful consideration, we’re not going to recommend that they follow Burger King’s lead. Even though yesterday saw the @BurgerKing account gain thousands of new followers.
Over a period of just a few hours yesterday afternoon, the fast food restaurant’s Twitter account ballooned from 83,000 followers to over 111,000. And all they needed to do was sit back and let infamous internet pranksters/activists (delete according to personal preference) Anonymous take control of the account.
“Let” is probably the wrong word here, as the messages put out by the hacker collective ranged from the amusing to the insulting. Before degenerating into racist epithets, the hackers changed the account’s avatar to the famous McDonalds’ “golden arches”, claimed that the Whopper burger had “flopped” and generally did everything they could to cause a full nervous breakdown in Burger King’s social media team.
Fortunately for the mental wellbeing of the company’s marketing department, Burger King eventually managed to regain control of the feed and released a statement apologising to their customers:
“We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings. We apologize to our fans and followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics.”
Official Burger King Statement
Back on the site, the handlers of the company’s social media account were keen to put a positive spin on things and start to make use of the 30,000 new followers they’d acquired:
“Interesting day here at BURGER KING®, but we’re back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!”
While we can’t in good conscience advise you to get your account hacked, we think this shows something very important about the way businesses use social media. A bit of humour and self-deprecation can go a long, long way.
EDIT: 20/02/12 – It looks like MTV followed our advice. With cringeworthy results.
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