Today was a holiday for many corporate workers, but not those who head up the Burger King marketing department. A hacker took over their Twitter feed this morning, changed the profile name and photo to McDonalds then began sending out obnoxious Tweets. As if the hat tip to their competitor wasn’t bad enough, later Tweets included references to drug use and included racial slurs.
The account has since been shut down but the footprint lingers on. . . . when you search for Burger King’s Twitter in Google you get. . .
It’s annoying, but it’s doubtful that the hack will hurt the business. In fact, it could help. According to CNET, the Twitter account gained 25,000 new followers during the hack. I wonder if Burger King will get to keep those followers when the site is reset or will they roll back to zero? Twitter has to have a back-up, right?
The real loser may be McDonalds. They were quick to Tweet their innocence (and I’m sure they are) but the response to their response was nasty.
We empathize with our @burgerking counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) February 18, 2013
That Tweet was reTweeted over 7,000 times! Really? We are one, very bored, nation.
The brand that should be roasted for their recent Tweet is Carnival Cruise lines who posted this note after thousands of passengers spent a hellish week on board:
Of course the bathrobes for the Carnival Triumph are complimentary.
— Carnival Cruise Line (@CarnivalCruise) February 15, 2013
This was sandwiched in between proper Tweets thanking the agencies who helped get the passengers home and an update on the disembarking process. Weird.
The lesson here is that hacks happen. They might come in from the outside but sometimes they’re the result of a disgruntled employee who decided to go out with a bang. Pay attention to your social media feeds. Be cautious of who is Tweeting on your behalf and who has access to your account. You can’t stop hackers or malicious posters but the quicker you catch a problem, the quicker you can get on with business as usual.