By B.L. Ochman
Will big brands never learn?
Of all the posts, Tweets, news reports, about BurgerKing’s Twitter account being hacked while the BK social media team apparently took the day off on President’s Day, this one cracks me up the most:
150 Social Media Consultants type the headline “What The Burger King Hack Means For Brands” at the same time all across New York City
— Ryan Broderick (@ryanpbroderick) February 18, 2013
You can bet there will be scores of “lessons for brands” posts over BurgerKing’s Twitter account being hijacked by
Anonymous, an as yet unconfirmed hacker, but there’s really only one lesson every brand should know by now: you have to monitor your brand 24/7. Because the Internet never sleeps.
Brands can outsource brand monitoring functions to firms like LiveWorld or Jive or they can rotate an in-house team to monitor the brand day and night. But no matter who does it, the monitoring can never take a break.
Burger King’s Twitter profile photo was changed a cross between McDonald’s and a methamphetamine addict, and its profile was altered to say, “Just got sold to McDonalds because the whopper flopped.” The profile included the misspelled line “FREDOM IS FAILURE” and a dead link to a press release. McDonald quickly denied any involvement and Tweeted its sympathy to BurgerKing.
We empathize with our @burgerking counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) February 18, 2013
Yet BurgerKing’s social media team and its various agencies still apparently aren’t monitoring the brand 24.7, despite the fact that things (like an issue with horsemeat) just haven’t been going BurgerKing’s way lately.
It took BurgerKing an hour or more to ask Twitter to take down the fake BK account.
As Robert Scoble noted in Fast Company back in 2009, Twitter is the canary in the coal mine of public opinion — for celebrities, politicians, and, of course, corporations.”
Back in early 2000s, the early days of blogging, it was a joke among bloggers that you could make trouble for any brand by posting negative information about them on the weekend because big brands were offline on weekends and holidays.
Fast forward 10 years, and it’s clear that major brands still aren’t paying attention. But Anonymous certainly is!
hey @burgerking, we can haz free cheezburgerz? pl0x? also can u sendz to @fbipressoffice too? #UtterlyLulz
— AnonymousIRC (@AnonymousIRC) February 18, 2013
Update: Jeep’s official Twitter account was hacked Tuesday morning.
The account was back to normal in a little over an hour, according to the Chicago Tribune
In late afternoon, Jeep Tweeted:
Hacking: Definitely not a #Jeep thing. We’re back in the driver’s seat!
— Jeep (@Jeep) February 19, 2013
…and so is everyone else paying attention! When I first caught the news on the hacking, I knew this would a Big Brand case study — unfortunately… When I read about the incident, I was reminded on working on a special promotional event w/Burger King (corporate) several years ago
Great social media advice for the Big Brands, B.L. — I do hope they’re listening ;) McDonald’s certainly handled this as a class act — BRAVO!