6 palatable marketing takeaways from Burger King’s social media strategy

Rohit Ahuja
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Burger King’s social media strategy

A walk through Burger King’s social media strategy for some delectable marketing takeaways from one of the youngest burger brands in India.

Land on to Burger King’s social media handles and you will be greeted with a visual treat. You cannot just scroll through their posts without having a food-gasm, from prioritising ‘fries over guys’ to positioning the grandeur of their flagship Whoppers, their efforts double up with arresting images of the items on their menu.

The king of hamburgers knows for sure that content is king. Let’s have a look at what the brand is doing right and what you can emulate as well:

  •  Break-through the Clutter when it comes to topical content

With the advent of Diwali, Christmas or the new year, isn't it a regular sight to see your Facebook feed get flooded, as friends and relatives post warm greetings as status updates? Scroll down your feed for as long as you'd like and you still wouldn't possibly manage to reach a point where these posts cease to show up!

Also Read: Burger King’s lesson on net neutrality – Whopper Neutrality

From picture-perfect family moments to generic greeting images, you will find that all your friends are posting similar content. Over-saturated by these almost identical messages, one reaches a point where they tend to overlook those posts and just continue scrolling down anyway.

Now, if you as a brand go out to wish your audience on social media, where the users have already had an enough share of greetings, it would be a good idea to break-through the clutter with interesting messaging. For instance, this GIF on Children’s day showing two friends playing rock-paper-scissors, while relishing a sumptuous burger-some meal makes you revisit nostalgic memories of childhood.


On Diwali, Burger King posted a fire-cracker asking users to engage with it, only to be surprised later with a burger when the image opens to its full size.

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They extended this message by piggy-backing on the eco-friendly Diwali bandwagon, asking users to burst #FlavourKaBomb, instead of firecrackers.


  • Integrate online and offline, to drive footfalls

 Ideally, at the heart of most social media campaigns is an objective to drive conversions, because mere reach and engagement are never enough.A conversion for Burger King would mean purchases and that would only be possible with store footfalls. Social media contests if executed well, can prove to be great enablers in achieving this objective.

The way to go is – ask users to perform some activity in your stores and ask them to post it on social media to win a prize. This integration of online and offline has proven to drive traffic to stores, time and again.

Burger King has relied on this tactic more than once, to get people to visit their stores. It ran a #DoodleYourWay contest, which was hosted at its outlet in Churchgate, Mumbai. Fans were asked to visit the store to participate in the said contest, to be featured on the brand’s Instagram story. After all, who doesn’t like getting famous?



On the occasion of World Photography Day, the US based hamburger chain introduced #SayCheese contest, asking its fans to click a picture with a Burger King product in order to win exciting vouchers. Thus, encouraging the audience to visit the store and make purchases.

Turns out, the contest went down really well with the audience, which was evident in the comments section. Imagine the additional business the brand must have made during the span of the contest, and the efforts were entirely organic.




  • Seek engagement – now even more important in light of Facebook news feed tweaks

 Facebook pages have been facing the issue of lack of organic reach for a very a long time now. Especially for brands, as it is difficult for them to avoid being explicit about their products and services in some or the other form.

Also Read: The Burger Emoji debate just got more delicious

However, audiences online don’t engage with a post that appears like an advertisement, unless the storytelling is unique. So, how do you engage with these users? A viable alternative is to create posts focused on sparking conversations between users, while also putting your brand at the centre-stage of content.

For instance, include questions in your posts, that people would be likely to respond to. This is a sure-shot way to ensure engagement on your posts. Borrow inspiration from this post by Burger King, that asked users to count the number of Salsa Whoppers and comment the same.

This simple post managed to garner over 25,000 likes and reactions and opened the floodgates for comments.


Or even better, be an enabler of conversations and Facebook will remember you in its good books. On Friendship day, Burger King defined a new version of friendship test, and you would qualify it only if you would share the last fry with your bestie.


The brand asked fans to tag their friends and let them know that you’d share the much coveted last piece of fries with them.


  • Drive insights from social listening and humanize with response

Social media allows you countless opportunities to communicate with geographically dispersed customers, each one telling you something new about your customers.

Communication is as much about listening, as it is about responding and brands who can successfully manage both can be said to have effectively harnessed the power of this connected network.

Burger King seems to have demonstrated a listening ear for its audiences. The brand drives business insights from user-generated content.

Their Facebook page is said to be mapping geographical trends by analysing user comments. “We are glad you wish to have our store in your city. We are recording all such requests to help us determine the location of our next stores in India”, said one of the responses by Burger King’s social media team in reply to a user query on store openings in the southern city of Chennai.

In an online space dominated by cold, robotic and automated responses, Burger King chooses to personalise its messages with a human touch. For instance, when one fan Sandeep Sagaonkar playfully commented on the post, Burger King took it sportingly and reverted in a quirky way.


Another time, A certain Udit Bansal left a negative review for Burger King on Facebook, but apparently they missed it.


Social media experts opine that the average time taken to respond to a complaint must be 15 minutes on Twitter and about an hour on Facebook. Burger King however, was a little too late.

When Burger King later found out this miss, they got in touch with Udit over the phone, landed over at his house and surprised him with a musician who doled out the tunes to ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’.


Clearly, Burger King is a great listener and never fails to delight with its response either!


  •    Join into trending conversations

The brand doesn’t limit its interaction to its fans on Facebook, but also joins conversations on Twitter, maintaining its witty voice. Earlier in November, 2017, a user called Thomas Baekdal, posted a tweet drawing attention to the different placements of cheese in the Apple and Google burger emojis, which stirred a discussion on the social networking site.

Also Read: 8 most brutal Burger King v/s McDonald’s campaigns of all times

Burger chains McDonalds and KFC were the first movers, who joined into the conversation.


Burger King too joined the conversation in a heart-beat, while maintaining a humorous tone and grabbing the opportunity to talk about its Whopper.


Participating in trending conversations on Twitter is a great way to turn on the spot-light for your brand, as you’re sure to get noticed while the topic is trending. To benefit while doing so, link the messaging to your core brand thoughts, brand positioning or even your products.


  • Gamify user experiences

Engaged consumers have a significant impact on your bottom line. According to a research by Gallup, brands that successfully engage their customers realize 63 percent lower customer attrition and 55 percent higher share of wallet.

An interesting way to engage customers is by using games that reward them for playing with you.



During the cricket season, Burger King drove traffic from its social media handles to a, specially created to host a game.

Playing the game would earn the users discounts on Burger King products.




On completion of the game, the users would get a percentage of discount determined by their scores. At this stage, the micro-site seeks to collect your mobile number to send you a coupon code, thus generating leads for the brand at the same time.



Instead of relying on just loyalty points to retain customers, use gamification elements to make it fun to engage with your brand.

Remember that content is the only king that dominates even in a world of democracy. Hope that you have learnt some valuable lessons from the king of burgers!

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