Advice for Burger King after their Presidents’ Day Social Media Crisis

Buger King Social Media Hack

Today, Presidents’ Day, the Burger King twitter account was not only hacked, but changed to McDonald’s and has been tweeting for over an hour (as of 1:06 PM). There are certainly risks involved in engaging in social media, but below are some tips for my dear Burger King social media team.

1. Make your password harder than whopper123.

2. Have social media constantly monitored–even on holidays.

3. Have phone notifications so that you are immediately notified of a change and are able to catch the flood of mentions from the account and react sooner.

4. Once you have regained control of the Twitter account,  be transparent about your error and address the issues head on.

5. People often forgive social media hacks and mistakes, help them feel better about you faster by offering a free Whopper Jr. to all those who tweet something good about Burger King. Hey, why not even start a hashtag? Just make sure if doesn’t backfire like it did for McDonald’s.

6. Resume back to normal tweeting. Address the situation, put processes in place s0 that it doesn’t happen again and move on. This disaster brought some publicity to the brand and probably gained it a few more followers. BK is definitely on my mind. I wonder how sales will do today?


Updates from The Chicago Tribune

 Twitter shut it down at Burger King’s request.

“We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings,” Burger King said in a statement Monday afternoon. “We apologize to our fans and followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics.”

The account had returned to active status by 5:30 p.m., with the McDonald’s logo and name gone but with the offending tweets still visible. Three hours later those tweets were removed, and by 9 p.m. the account was back to normal.

“Interesting day here at Burger King, but we’re back! Welcome to our new followers,” came the account’s first legitimate tweet of the day, acknowledging the thousands of followers it gained during the hack. “Hope you all stick around!”


What advice would you give to Burger King right now? Leave your answers below. 

About the Author
Emmelie De La Cruz is an employed-prenuer, working full-time and managing her business, The Branding Muse, where she works to assist college students and young professionals with personal branding. Emmelie also assists small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop and implement social, mobile and digital strategies. Whether you’re an individual interested in improving your personal brand or a business looking to enter the digital space, Emmelie can work with you to create and execute the proper strategies.  Follow her on Twitter: @HerMusings


5 thoughts on “Advice for Burger King after their Presidents’ Day Social Media Crisis

  1. I enjoyed reading your post, Emmelie. I’ve learned a little about crisis communications in some of my journalism classes. Your recommendations were by-the-book. Definitely look forward to reading more from you.

  2. The person handling the account should’ve been monitoring it 24/7. I agree once the smoke clears, Burger King needs be transparent and address the issue head on. All the blame shouldn’t fall on Burger King. Twitter needs to boost security.

    • Wow! You make a great point about Twitter security. This isn’t the first time that accounts are getting hacked. What would be some ways to improve the security?

      I do think that large companies like McDs and BK shouldn’t have the same login process as normal users because of all of the risks involved.

  3. What’s interesting is who hacked their site… Seems internal to me. It was also very odd.

    Even more interesting is that BM had like 78k followers on twitter to start and now 111k, great growth but McDonalds is actually almost at 1m. BK is totally not leveraging its Twitter platform at all…

    In a sense yesterday makes perfect sense now.

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