How Burger King Got $1M of Free Publicity by Being Hacked

Burger King Twitter hacked

There was a lot of buzz yesterday about Burger King’s Twitter account being hacked. We kept track: 146k users sent over 230k tweets (and counting!) talking about it. The account also gained over 20k new followers.

So was it really all bad? Our friend, Elliott Volkman (@TheJournalizer), started doing some calculations on his blog, and we helped with some back-of-the-napkin calculations of our own.

The result? Burger King got $1M of free publicity out of it! (give or take a couple of whoppers)

How did we get to that $1M number? Using rough Promoted Account ($2.00 CPF), Promoted Tweet ($1.50 CPE) and Promoted Trend ($200,000) numbers:

  • 230,000 tweets X $1.50 CPE = $345,000
  • 216,000* link clicks X $1.50 CPE = $324,000
  • 20,000 followers X $2 CPF = $40,000
  • Trending Topic = $200,000
  • Total: $910,000+

[* Link clicks are included as engagements by Twitter. We calculated 90,000 unique links in those tweets X 24 clicks per link]

So all in all: they went from being mentioned 50x per day to over 200k times, got $1M of free publicity out of it, with minimal impact on bottom line sales.

They should be celebrating!

Note: As we were typing this, @Jeep just got hacked. Result: even more mentions of Burger King in the posts about Jeep.

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