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Social Media Hack Fail

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The Cyphers Agency

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 3.22.52 PMDue to over saturation of social media activity, many brands are going the extra mile to try and stand out on social. But because of a lack of overall strategy and clear objectives, many are missing the mark.

Recently, online users have become obsessed with social media meltdowns and hacking of accounts. Earlier this week, Chipotle tried to recreate this phenomenon by intentionally “hacking” their own account. They might have gained more followers and a decent amount of press but we’re not sure that they gained much else.

Hacking accounts is nothing new. Following the legitimate hacks of Burger King and Jeep, MTV and BET thought it would be funny to hack their own accounts. Since then, many attention-seeking brands have followed suit.

On Sunday, Chipotle’s Twitter account @ChipotleTweets sent out a series of confusing and seemingly unrelated tweets over the course of about an hour. Everyone loves a good train wreck, so during that day they increased their followers by 4k fans and got 12k retweets. On a typical day, Chipotle’s Twitter account obtains 250 new followers, and sees 75 retweets. Since then, Chipotle has admitted that the hack was all a part of a publicity stunt to gain leverage for their upcoming 20th anniversary. Although they have maintained the 4k fans that this stunt provided, they have no clear strategy behind how to engaged these users and get them involved with the brand.

This stunt did gain them a decent amount of publicity, but their plan didn’t have legs. They have yet to follow up with any plan as to how they are now going to leverage this publicity and new followers to benefit their brand. Not to mention that this “hacking” has left many of us confused and wondering what they were trying to accomplish.

If you are really trying to gain publicity and followers through a hack or a social media meltdown make sure you have a clear objective and strategy so you don’t leave your followers wondering what just happened.

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