Fries King. Burger King. Something King.
How about Attention King?
The jury's still out on Burger King's supposed "name change" this week -- to "Fries King." But one thing's clear -- it has made the fast-food giant a king of sorts in social media today.
Social Media, Fast-Food Style
We're betting that Burger King's (or Fries King's?) name-change campaign this week on Twitter and Facebook is nothing more than another organization using trickery and, yes, lies, to gain some steam in social media.
The #FRIESKING campaign seems to be a play on Burger King's Twitter efforts last month with its new, healthier fries -- #Satisfried.
We asked Burger King's media relations team directly last night whether this campaign is fact or social media fiction, much like Chipotle's from earlier this year. As of this morning, we haven't received a response.
However, Burger King has even placed Fries King logos throughout their corporate website. They even posted pictures of construction workers putting up the new logo on a Burger King site. Still, though, no actual admittance of a real name change or not.
Behind the Real King
@BurgerKing still trails the big fish in this fast-food pond on Twitter -- @McDonalds. Burger King has about 336,000 followers to McDonald's 1.7 million.
But the #FRIESKING effort is gaining social media steam this week. The lead post on its Twitter page from Oct. 1 has had 2,207 retweets and 635 favorites.
Some were impressed by the King's tactics:
Enjoying the #FRIESKING fun. It's got people talking.— ThatConsultantBloke (@bowenjohnj) October 3, 2013
Others, however, remained skeptical and unimpressed:
We caught up this morning with Mari Smith, a social media trainer who specializes in Facebook marketing, about Burger King's campaign.
"April Fools," responded Smith, who has about 240,000 Twitter followers. "#FRIESKING name change doesn't make sense to me. Just a way to entice new customers."
How Far Should Companies Go?
When Chipotle did its attention thing on Twitter earlier this year, it posted a series of what appeared to be hacked tweets. "End Twitter," was one of them. It had 4,000 followers during “hack day” — a normal day for Chipotle produces about 250. For the 12 fake tweets, it had about 12,000 retweets where normally the food-producer gets 75 per day.
Fact is, they weren't hacked.
The common denominator in Burger King's and Chipotle's campaigns this week? Lies. Plain and simple.
We talked this week about Twitter campaigns gone good -- re: Oreo and Ford. Neither of those had to do with fake tweets or feigned messages.
Burger King may have gained some steam this week, but most of it, upon checking, seems negative. The lesson here? Publicity campaigns are fine, but it's probably smart to let up on the lies.
Unless, of course, the name change ends up being for real -- then the joke's on all of us.