Like all restaurants and eateries, Burger King was forced to close its eat in services due to the second lockdown on November 5. But rather than be defeated, the fast food chain has rallied its support around all fast food eateries and burger joints including its main competitor, McDonald’s. By doing so, Burger King increased its social media engagement by over 23,000%. Boom!

Here we show you in 10 steps how they tapped into the mood of the public and took a bold and brave approach to social media over the last week of October and first week of November.

1. What was the business goal?

Burger King are experts at grabbing attention. The business wanted to draw attention to the risk a second lockdown posed to those with jobs within the food and hospitality industry.

2. Telling Burger King’s story

Burger King issued a branded letter via social media across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the attention grabbing headline, ‘Order from McDonald’s. Coupled with its usual playful tone of voice came the acknowledgement “We know, we never thought we’d be saying this either”. On expanding the letter, customers could read how and why Burger King was encouraging customers not just to order from its biggest rival, but also a whole plethora of its other competitors. The post tapped into the public mood well, by demonstrating that it recognised jobs, livelihoods and the protection and preservation of the wider industry was more pressing than competition.

3. What did Burger King want its audience to do

Burger King wanted to encourage its audience to keep ordering from their favourite food outlets, for the sake of a bigger purpose. In addition it wanted to start and amplify a conversation. And that’s just what it did. Burger King saw the engagement with its content increase a whopping 23289% on the previous week.

The Maybe* See What Works report showing the content created by Burger King and the engagement with it.

4. How does Burger King engage with customers?

Burger King responds to all its comments and customer service issues including job enquiries, complaints and good ol' burger banter from its loyal following.

Over this time period, the Burger King content began to divide opinion, as more and more joined the conversation. Noticeably there was a camp of people pointing out that local eateries needed support a little more than the big chains.

Burger King responded to this by calling out some more of its smaller competitors.

Engaging with comments, listening to the conversation about your competitors, or other businesses in your place, will help you inform your own approach and reach more customers.

5. Who does Burger King need to engage?

Burger King enjoys engagement with many people from all walks of life. While facing stick for promoting fast food and potentially unhealthy competitors, the brand managed to engage not just a teen or youth audience, but also earned engagement from a professional community of marketeers and business pundits who also engaged in the conversation, especially on LinkedIn. The benefit of engaging this community, means the conversation about Burger King also continued to grow. Across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the amount of social media conversation about the business grew over 570%.

6. Where do Burger King need to engage and how do they do it successfully?

Burger King knows where its customers are - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. Each platform may hold the same messages, but the execution is slightly different for each platform. Instagram and Facebook focus on imagery, while Twitter sees more mentions of the brand as customers send feedback the business’ customer care team can respond to. Customer care is delivered across all platforms, but the majority occurs on Twitter. When it comes to LinkedIn, which we don’t currently track on Maybe* but we've had a sneaky peek, there’s still consumer messaging, but the business also focuses on recruitment and sees a lot of recognition for its provocative marketing campaigns. Like Burger King, you should be ready to engage with customers and colleagues and tell a consistent brand story wherever they are.

7. Who or what else are Burger King's customers distracted by and interested in?

Burger King proved it knows who its competitors are when it listed them in their social content. The brand also proved it knew what concerns its customers had for the wider economy. Not only did they tap into their own customers, and that of their competitors, but Burger King also knew how the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown were impacting the public and the causes they cared about. If you’re wondering who your competitors are and what they are up to, use the Maybe* Insight Builder. It will show you exactly what the competitors you are monitoring are up to, and what's working for them. You can also add other local businesses, or businesses you think you might share customers with to learn from them.

8. Mastering advertising

Burger King did not use Facebook advertising to support its message. If you want to see if other businesses like yours are advertising and who to, sneak a peek. Facebook makes ads transparency publicly available to ensure the users know why they are being targeted. You can check whether other businesses in your town or place, or your competitors have switched on advertising by following the video tip.

If you’ve got a Facebook page, you can have a Facebook ads account which allows you to advertise on both Facebook and Instagram. Maybe* makes using the Facebook Ads manager quick and easy.

Businesses like Burger King can use ads to target their online delivery, drive through or takeaway options where relevant. To do so it can create different audience types to reach the right people. You can create three different types of audience within the Facebook Ads manager. Let’s break them down.

Saved - this is where you can add behavioural and interest targeting, gender, demographic. So if Burger King wanted to advertise to men between 18-34 in the UK who like McDonalds or any of its other competitors it can do that.

Custom - A custom audience allows you to take your Facebook page and Instagram page and build an audience based on who and how it's been engaged with over a period of time. You can also upload your customer email addresses here, and display ads to anyone you’ve got on your list. Providing, of course, that the email you have for them is the same they log in to Facebook with.

Lookalike - let’s say Burger King have created a custom audience from their Facebook page engagement. A lookalike is where you take a custom audience (and you can only do it on custom audiences) and tell Facebook to find you the top 1% of people who match the existing custom audience. Facebook will then find all the people in your custom audience, and then look for more people it thinks might be similar based solely on their Facebook activity.

9. Measuring success

If you want to know whether the engagement you are getting is good, bad or somewhere in between then the Maybe* Insight Summary has you covered. Burger King can add competitors and other local businesses to its Maybe* profile, and benchmark its engagement against them.

10. Is the campaign delivering on the original objective

Measuring social media KPIs such as sentiment and engagement with its content, helps Burger King and other businesses know whether social media is working for them. Burger King saw not only its engagement increase by over 23,000% and the volume of conversation about it increase by over 500%; but the conversation was received positively reflected in the sentiment about the business.

All this insight is available in the Your Report feature within Maybe*, tracking your Best Post will show you what content is working the best to engage your audience for you so you can continually improve.

Burger King took a risk to grab attention, and it paid off. The business chose collaboration and purpose over the competition, cooking up a social media engagement storm, while at the same time retaining its tone of voice and brand identity.

Maybe* is here to help businesses learn the essential ingredients and steps to take to stay connected to customers via its social media engagement tool. By providing social media and advertising insight tools, we can help your business continue to grow and make sales.

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