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Burger King's Twitter Account Hacked: 5 Reminders for Brands

On Monday the official Burger King Twitter account was hacked, sparking a mini wave of 'news' coverage on what was an otherwise slow President's Day holiday. 

Burger King responded relatively well given the situation (the incident happening in the early morning on a holiday weekend). While the company didn't use its other social media properties to provide an update on the situation, it did manage to suspend its account and eventually get it restored in a matter of hours. 

As news outlets move on to the next 'big' story, brands should use the @BurgerKing incident to review and refresh their own digital practices and plans for a crisis. Here are five basic reminders:

  1. Update passwords frequently. Develop a timeline for how often passwords to cricitical digital plaforms should be changed. Also, don't forget the wild card in the equation: employee departures. Make it a best practice to update passwords any time an employee who had access leaves the company.
  2. There's no such thing as a holiday. Consumers expect 24X7X365 response on social media and hackers know that many brands will have fewer people paying attention to their social channels during holidays. Plan accordingly and develop internal processes to help mitigate the risks during such times. For examsple: if your brand is global, use resources across time zones (who many also observe different holidays) to fill in gaps in coverage.
  3. Have account reps on speed dial. Most brands that are even moderately invested in social platforms have people designated to their accounts at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Share your account rep's contact information with the critical team members who manage and interact with each channel so they can reach out as soon as they notice something that doesn't feel right. 
  4. Response times matter. As we've recently seen with Oreo's Super Bowl tweet and Poland Spring's State of the Union Facebook post, speed matters. During times of crisis, this is even more important--brands are expected to not only manage a crisis on the back end but update the masses along the way. 
  5. A corporate blog or website should be the focal point of a digital strategy. A blog is an ideal way to get a quick statement out during a time of crisis. This is particularly true if one of your other primary distribution channels has been compromised. Use a blog to help centralize the conversation and drive as many interested parties there as possible.

What would you add to the list?

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