Burger King’s Social Media Strategy: A Brand Case Study.

We analyzed Burger King’s primary social media profiles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from June 01, 2019, to June 30, 2020. Here’s what we found out.
Veena Ramakrishnan
Veena Ramakrishnan
July 27, 2020 - 10 min. read

Unless your loyalty lies with a certain golden arches brand, you already know how good Burger King’s Whoppers are.

I mean, what’s not to love about them?

Patty? Good. Cheese? Good. Meat? Gooooooood. 

via GIPHY

So, for a brand that has a stellar reputation for its burgers, it’s only fair to assume they have the same on social too, right?

Take it from me, a simple walkthrough of Burger King’s social media presence will leave you with two things to take home:

One, you’ll find yourself salivating over the images posted on Burger King’s social media handles and maybe even considering ordering a few Whoppers.

Two, you will have a good laugh from all that snarky content they post on social and try looking up the person who handles their Twitter account. Maybe the last part adheres to just me.

In short, the brand’s recipe for a good social media strategy stands tall among other brands in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry.

To find out what sets Burger King apart from the rest of the QSR industry, we took a deep dive into their social media habits and performance and penned down our findings in this article. We’ve also packed in a few takeaways at the bottom for any brand that aspires for a social media presence like that of BK’s.

About the report

This Burger King social media report is put together using Falcon Benchmark. It listens to over 100,000 brands to help our clients create more engaging content, get more certainty around their social strategy, and automate their reporting.

We analyzed Burger King’s primary social media profiles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from June 01, 2019, to June 30, 2020. Here’s what we found out.

Burger King on Facebook

Burger King has the largest fan following on Facebook, as opposed to its Twitter and Instagram channels, with close to 8.5 million followers on its primary Facebook page. The brand added 203K followers in the analyzed period, a 2.45% growth in followers, which is almost 513 followers added per day.

Burger King social media strategy

The brand published 170 posts of which 118 were photos, 50 were videos, and 2 were plain text. Photos comprised 69% of the posts and they also received the most engagement in comparison to videos.

Burger King social media strategy

In terms of content, Burger King primarily published product-focused content on Facebook. The consistent use of brand colors and witty captions announcing new product arrivals, deals, and offers is a commonality amongst all its Facebook posts.

(I swear I heard my stomach grumble at the sight of this beauty!)

Burger King exclusively utilized paid promotion on Facebook to push its product posts. During the analyzed period, the brand published a total of 170 posts of which 58% were promoted on Facebook.

The promoted post below is Burger King’s most-engaged Facebook post with over 61K reactions. Looks like the arrival of the Frozen Fanta Orange created quite a frenzy among the BK fans.

Campaign strategy

Ah, where do I even begin! Burger King launched quite a few campaigns this year that created a buzz on social media. You’ll see me gushing over a few of them below.

1. The beauty of no artificial preservatives

 This tops my list of favorite BK campaigns launched this year!

When you’re so used to salivating to the images of juicy Whoppers on social media, the sight of an ugly and mold-covered burger would surely leave anyone surprised and a bit thrown off right?

Well, that’s exactly what Burger King was aiming for.

This campaign saw the announcement of BK’s classic Whopper in a way nobody could have ever imagined. To announce the arrival of a Whopper free from artificial preservatives, Burger King took us through the life span of a Whopper from the time when it was first prepared to the time it takes to collect mold and turn ugly.

That video had over 22k likes and 6k shares. The brand also saw hundreds of positive comments flooding in for making such a powerful statement!

2. Stay home of the Whopper

Earlier in 2020 people were advised to stay home and practice social distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

To encourage social distancing, Burger King launched the “Stay Home of the Whopper” campaign, an interesting take on its iconic tag line, asking people to stay home and order in instead of venturing out to buy burgers.

Burger King on Twitter

If there’s one place where I believe the brand shines best, it’s on Twitter.

Hell, I would even write an entire article ranking all my favorite BK tweets from best to best-est. (Maybe I should…)

Twitter is basically Burger King’s throne. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, where the banter is usually around products and deals, Twitter is where Burger King rightly voices out its opinion, throws shade at its competitors, asks Wendy’s out to prom, and of course roasts its audience.

Chiming in on trending topics and adding its own spin to them is second nature to the brand.

Remember when a certain someone “joked” that it was okay to drink bleach to kill the coronavirus?

God, it sounds awful to even type it out.

It was no place for Burger King or anyone for that matter to clarify that bizarre statement, but they did, and we appreciate the PSA.

Speaking of PSAs, here’s what Burger King had to say for #NationalBoyfriendDay.

Now, let’s talk numbers!

Burger King added close to 80K new followers and registered a 4.5% fan growth in the analyzed period. A total of 7,484 tweets went out from the brand’s handle, of which a whopping 97% were replies and only 2% were proactive tweets. This clearly shows how important it is for the brand to engage with its audience.

But don’t let that 2% fool you into thinking that it’s not enough proactive tweets. Remember, quality over quantity, and Burger King has plenty of quality content to offer and keep its audience engaged.

For instance, remember when Prince Harry became just Harry? Here’s what Burger King had to say to that.

Customer service

A study says that 78% of the people who tweet to any brand expect a reply within one hour.

Fair enough. But did Burger King make the cut?

During the analyzed period, Burger King tweeted 40% of their replies within an hour and maintained a reply rate of 13 hours on average throughout the year, making sure that their customer queries are always responded to within a day.

Burger King social media strategy

Burger King also ensured that customers are replied to on all days of the week.

Burger King on Instagram

Burger King added 250K new followers on Instagram, bringing its total follower count to 1.9 million in June 2020. The brand also registered the biggest fan growth compared to its Facebook and Twitter accounts with a 14.8% growth rate.

Burger King social media strategy

Burger King published a total of just 82 posts during the analyzed period, which is less than half of what the brand published on Facebook. This tells us that, despite registering the largest fan growth on Instagram, the brand still prefers to post more on Facebook than Instagram owing to its larger fan base on Facebook (8.5 million fans).

Burger King Instagram posts

To be honest, looking at Burger King’s Instagram feed is my guilty pleasure.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

quarantine day 59: sick of same old, same old? same. so spice up your quarantine with 8 white meat spicy chicken nuggets for $1. 🔥 order now on the BK app. #SpiceUpYourQuarantine

A post shared by Burger King (@burgerking) on

You’ll find a lot of visually appealing, still life images and videos of their burgers and beverages on their feed, which tell us that their Instagram strategy focuses solely on their product.

Burger King cross-posts content on both Facebook and Instagram. You’ll notice that a lot of product posts involve announcements of limited-time offers and deals heavily sprinkled with a dash of BK’s trademark sass and humor.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

get it before it melts. free HERSHEY’S Chocolate Fudge Sundae, today only on the BK app.

A post shared by Burger King (@burgerking) on

It’s not just images of burgers and fries that make an appearance all the time. When it’s an absolute necessity, the King himself makes an appearance for important announcements like this:

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Burger King (@burgerking) on

This was Burger King’s most engaging post on Instagram with over 48K interactions during the analyzed period.

Burger wars

Okay, I was waiting to get to this part of the article!

In fact, I doubt if an article about Burger King would even be complete without mentioning their rivalry with McDonald’s.

Launched around the same time in the early 1950s, the two fast-food chains had similarities in the food and beverages they offered, leaving them with no choice but to get competitive and win the most share out of the fast-food sector.

The rivalry between the King and the Clown spanning over six decades has only gotten better over time, thanks to digital means. What only existed on billboards and posters eventually crept into the social media realm in the last decade, making things a lot fiercer and more entertaining (for the viewers).

I, for one, am always on the lookout for what these two brands recently fought over on social. Don’t judge me, you have no idea what you’re missing out on.

Exhibit A: The brand proposed a devious plan by asking its audience to trade in their McDonald’s fries for Burger King’s onion rings to celebrate #NationalOnionRingsDay. Evil-genius much?

Exhibit B: How far would you go to get a Whopper for just a penny? Burger King says that you’ll only have to get within a 600 ft radius of a McDonald’s drive-thru to get a Whopper for just a penny. Watch the video and you’ll see how it works!

Exhibit C: Just Halloween things?

3 takeaways from Burger King’s social media success

Any brand that aspires for a bold and sassy social media presence can learn a thing or two from Burger King’s ultimate social media playbook.

1. Find your brand personality

You can tell right off the bat that Burger King has a distinct personality from the way it presents itself on social. There’s fearless humor, sarcasm, and a whole lot of sass entwined in its tone and message.

To cut through all that social media noise, your brand needs a personality of its own to stand out and get noticed by people. At the end of the day, most of your business is managed by real people and that includes your social media team as well. So, it’s only fair to ask you to have a personality to the brand that’s being represented on social.

2. Share your two cents

If you’ve noticed, Burger King’s content has more to offer than just news about its Whoppers and latest deals. Whether it’s the news of Prince Harry leaving the royal family, or the POTUS “joking” about drinking bleach, Burger King doesn’t think twice to tweet about it.

We’ve already established that your brand needs a personality. Now, what you need to additionally give is a platform to voice out its opinions. Twitter is Burger King’s sweet spot to share its two cents on the latest world news. Find out what that sweet spot is for your brand and talk the talk.

And finally…

3. It’s okay to have an online feud/flirting game going on

An online feud with your competitor is not something we advocate nor think as the most practical marketing strategy, but I think we can all collectively agree on how engaging it gets when Burger King and McDonald’s roast each other on social.

Or when Burger King asked Wendy’s out to prom.

The internet collectively awww’ed when that happened.

Flashy ads where brands self-proclaim to be the best-of-the-best just don’t hit the mark these days. In fact, it can come across as boring and inauthentic when brands force-feed their value proposition to their audience.

Whether you’re calling out your competitors in the snarkiest way possible or just having a lighthearted interaction with other brands, both have huge benefits from this sort of exposure on social media. Besides, the audience would also like to see the human side of the brands on social.

Having a well-crafted social media strategy helps you to grow and remain viable in today’s business landscape and Burger King is a testimony to that fact. If you are looking for insights on how to better your social media performance, check out Falcon Benchmark.