I came across Burger King's twitter feed the other day, after Dan Howe tweeted about it. Dan is absolutely right - it's god awful. A random sample is below:
It comprises a list of random questions with seemingly no response to the answers, all trying to sell Burger King's products, which have been helpfully (ahem) marked with a ®. Now I am someone who loves Burger King - give me a bacon double cheeseburger any day of the week and I'm happy - but this makes me like the brand a little (a lot) less. If their Twitter was witty, useful and engaging, I'd not only follow their account (giving them an opportunity to remind me daily of their mouthwatering meals) but I'd like them more and be more likely to pick them over one of their competitors.
So what can we learn from Burger King's mistake?
1. Use questions appropriately. Questions are a useful way to start a conversation on Twitter, but asking them without caring what people say in response and not even acknowledging their response, is just pointless. When brands get it right, a question can bring you closer to your followers/likers rather than making you seem like an annoying robot that won't shut up.
2. Reply to your followers. You can see bad old BK has not replied to any of its followers (indicated by the @ symbol) and a quick scout of its replies reveals its missed the opportunity to reply to this follower:
If Burger King is genuinely trying to offer its customers healthy choices, this would have been a good opportunity to engage in discussion with this follower. It could have explained what its doing to make its food healthier and its customers better informed. At the very least, it could have acknowledged the guy's response.
3. Don't use the ®. It makes you look lame. And uncool. But most of all lame. And definitely, never use the ™.
4. Re-tweet your followers. It hasn't re-tweeted anyone. Now don't get me wrong, I hate when brands retweet compliments, but there are times when a retweet can be useful for getting other people involved in the conversation. Even better if the conversation isn't about your brand. For example, when this person responded:
how much more engaging would it have been if Burger King had retweeted it, said that sounded awesome, asked for a twitpic, and then asked if anyone else can beat that?
So if you're reading this Burger King, please do the world a favour and put someone else in charge of your Twitter feed, before you put us all off your burgers.