Looking to capitalize on PR around hacked Twitter accounts, Viacom properties MTV and BET went in cahoots, pretending their Twitter accounts were hack and parading as one another. To be clear about their involvement, they created the hashtag #MTVHacking.
The attempted punking may have proved that not all publicity is good publicity. Twitter’s community didn’t appreciate the hacking, with many turned off by the shenanigans.
If either brand was hoping to generate a following, it may not work to their liking. Socialbakers reported that Burger King netted 60,000 Twitter followers after their hacking went public. A day after experiencing the same Twitter woes, Jeep didn't see the same spike.
Twitter has spoken up about MTV and BET's effort too, saying it’s no laughing matter. The social net reminded everyone that the fact that hackers compromised 250,000 accounts on February 1, which may be related to what Burger King and Jeep have experienced, is serious business.
“This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident," Twitter said in a statement. "The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked.”
In retrospect, the events seem to prove the importance of agile marketing and the “always on” approach brands need to take with their social media presence. Scott Monty, Ford social media director, summed it up while sympathizing with Burger King's plight.
"It's not about being always on during the work week anymore. It’s about always being on no matter what day it is," said Monty.