10 Social Media Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Stop me if you have heard this one: You are scrolling through your social media feed when you see a post from a local business page. It’s too promotional, dry, and has no real focus–much like every other post you see from them. Disinterested, you unlike the page and continue.

Social media can be a double edge sword for small businesses–on one hand, it allows them to compete with big business and get their name out to more people in their community, on the other hand, if done wrong they are left with a lot of work and very little return. This conundrum was the core of my talk at a recent keynote I gave for a Seattle chamber of commerce meeting. While the talk was a little over an hour and a half long, just for you, I summarized my points below (aren’t I nice?):

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You Want A Burger With That? The Fries King Troll

So, there I am, minding my own business going through my Twitter feed, when I see this:

Needless to say, I had to investigate.

Woah! What the heck is going on?

Let me fill you in: On September 24th, Burger King unveiled their new low calorie fries (Satisfries) in order to appeal to the health conscious crowd. No one batted an eyelash. Fast food restaurant trying to be healthy? We have already seen those types of campaigns before right? So Burger King decided to step up their game: they changed their name. You can now go get your whopper from “Fries King” in select locations in Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. They have completely changed all branding both online and at the store front level, including:

Their website:

bk_fries

Their products:

fk_fries

Even their trashcans:

fk_trashcan

Their official Twitter and Facebook handles have also been changed to reflect the new name. This is all a part of the #Satisfried campaign, set off by Burger–well Fries’ King’s new fries. Burger King’s angle was to set off enough hype for people to want to check out the newly recrowned company.

Well….they got a response alright. People took to twitter faster than the official press releases could be published.

Sounds like people aren’t too happy with Burger King changing their name…but hey, despite the bashing, Burger King is getting what it wants: publicity.

This is a perfect example of what I was talking about in my name change post. No one would have been paying attention to the newest menu item from Burger King, if it wasn’t for this drastic name change. Burger King has shot up in the rankings with their bold move.

friesking

I just had to type in fries, and the suggestions bring up Fries King first. Also according to YouGov brand Index, Burger King has a positive feedback brand score of 25, reaching an all time high of 28 the day of the campaign (scores are measured from -100 to 100). Another review from Topsy mentions that twitter mentions for burger King have tripled since Wednesday, when the name change hit the social media channels.

But why the name change at all?

I would like to redirect your attention to the bottom of Burger King’s webpage.

lowcal

There’s your reason. McDonald’s, while still a fast food joint, has managed to claim a little bit of the healthy America pie with their menu of calorie conscious items. Burger King has been developing a fry that still tastes good, but has lower calories for years, and they wanted to make sure it overshadowed McDonald’s fries by a longshot. Look what came up when I put in McDonald’s Low cal fries:

mcdfries

All about Burger King. And what have we learned about search engine users? They rarely look past the first page. So yea, Burger King is getting what they want.

So, they are trolling us?

Hardcore trolling. I actually found an article that mentioned “trolling the masses”. Burger King has always had a playful marketing strategy, so this seemed to fit right along with their past promotions (May I remind of the great McDonald Heist?). However, I found this gimmick to be a bit confusing. Burger King kept this under wraps for the shock value and to receive a lot more attention; but it might have actually worked too well. No one really noticed, nor knew much about the Satisfried campaign, so when the Fries King promo hit the market, people weren’t prepared at all. People are focusing more on the name change, than the actual product is was done for. That is my only problem with the name change gimmick; you never want the product to be forgotten. Business Article  and Adweek both share my sentiment.

For the record: the name change isn’t permanent. It will only be going on as long as the #Satisfried campaign goes for. I am not entirely sure if this is the boost Burger King needs in order to get actual sales, but it definitely has people talking. When I mentioned it to my former Integrated Marketing Professor, @dannpurdy, he had this to say,

Kudos to you Burger King. I applaud you.

slowclap