Chipotle Earns "What Were They Thinking?" Award for Faked Twitter Hack
A fake Twitter hack, Chipotle? Seriously? Kevin Whalen of Arbor Networks alerted me to this unbelievably stupid PR move this morning. According to the Business Insider clip he shared, Chipotle admitted the stunt to Mashable yesterday, saying the hack was faked to increase Twitter followers, which is definitely a lame excuse (although, sadly, it worked, and brought in 4,000 new followers). As communications and marketing professionals work hard to integrate and leverage all of the channels available today to raise awareness for their companies, it's really sad to see a legitimate company stoop to this type of cheap trick. But it does earn Chipotle the most recent of our "What were they thinking?" Awards for Worst Use of Twitter.
"It seems like Chipotle attempted to capitalize on a bunch of recent hacks of brands on Twitter, which arguably brought more attention than normal to those companies.
In February, for example, hackers took control of Burger King's Twitter account, changing the name to McDonald's and claiming the food chain had been sold to its rival."
There are better ways to grow your follower base legitimately. I asked our digital experts and they quickly reeled off the following list of ideas:
- Chipotle's communications team members could participate in #PR20chat #measurePR #blogchat, or other industry conversations that are taking place every week.
- Instead of spending time staging a hack, Chipotle could create and socialize behind the scene videos with their “Burrito Rollers” or their “Grill Masters.”
- They could have leveraged the momentum of the piece on Business Insider that calculated all the possible ways to order at Chipotle (655,360 ways, if you are curious) and asked followers to share their favorite combinations.
- Launching “#BestBurrito” contest could build community by encouraging followers to share recipes or pictures of their burrito creations.
These ideas just scratch the surface of the many creative ways Twitter can help build awareness and followers who will be true brand ambassadors. Feel free to share any others. But a fake Twitter hack? It's hard to believe Chipotle thought it was acceptable to kill its corporate credibility by crying wolf about a hack that never happened.
Image courtesy of nrn.com.