Burger King Twitter Hack

On Feb 18, word surfaced on Twitter that Burger King was sold to McDonalds. The fast-food company’s Twitter got hacked by an outsider who changed their profile picture to the Golden Arches and tweeted racial slurs and drug references, according to Yahoo news.

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Instead of turning followers off, there was a 60,000 single-day spike in Burger King’s followers after the incident.

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Once Burger King’s social media team got their feed under control, they disseminated this tweet:

“Interesting day here at BURGER KING, but we’re back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!”

This was effective because it reached their new followers directly, and didn’t ignore the situation. It’s important to have a crisis communication plan on hand to keep calm in situations like this.

As a public relations professional, how would you handle a hack attack?

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4 Responses to Burger King Twitter Hack

  1. Danielle Chavez says:

    Wow! I didn’t realize how many new followers Burger King gained after this incident. Guess the joke is on the hackers! I think Burger King did an acceptable job of handling the situation by acknowledging the situation.

  2. Tessa Turnbow says:

    I think the response from Burger King was great. It acknowledged there was a situation, but did not describe the details. This was a good tactic because it did not remind the old followers or the new followers about the exact details of the situation but they did not ignore it. Welcoming the new followers was also a good idea because it reached out to them, acknowledging their presence. As a public relations professional, I would have handled the situation like this, because it was calm, acknowledged the situation and welcomed the followers that were a product of the situation.

  3. Minda Elliott says:

    I think Burger King did the right thing by addressing their new followers in their first returning tweet. By saying that it’s an “interesting day” they’re addressing the rarity of the situation with how someone could hack into such a large verified Twitter account. I would hope that I would do the same thing as a PR practitioner in this sort of situation and not take a more boring, cookie-cutter route.

  4. D'Asia Tate says:

    I think Burger King came out on top with this one. The social media team didn’t panic and as a result they ended up with more followers. I think everyone can take a lesson from this since we are susceptible to having our online accounts hacked. Having a eight-character complex password and two-step verification process do not keep online accounts safe. What we can do is not panic, change our passwords and move on just like Burger King did. I think they handled this situation perfectly.

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