From posting pictures of perfectly styled burgers to responding to consumers' seemingly never-ending complaints, fast-food restaurants' use of social media runs the gamut.
To better understand how effective social media really is for these brands, SocialFlow tracked Facebook chatter across seven fast-food restaurants—McDonald's, KFC, Subway, Burger King, Sonic, Taco Bell and Wendy's—from Oct. 1 to 29.
It's important to note that Taco Bell went dark on social media on Oct. 28 as part of a marketing stunt to promote a new mobile ordering app, so a small portion of the data (from Oct. 28-29) is not indicative of how the brand typically fares on social media.
One of the key takeaways: Having a massive following doesn't correlate to engagement. For example, Subway only claims 27 million Facebook "likes" compared to McDonald's 51 million. But, the brand raked in 972,273 Facebook engagements (measuring shares and "likes") compared to Mickey D's 451,970.
Check out the below chart for a look at how often the brands post and the engagement that they are getting on Facebook.
|Brand||Number of Facebook "likes"||Number of posts||Number of "likes" on posts||Number of comments on posts||Number of posts shared||Total Facebook engagement|
Meanwhile, data from Amobee Brand Intelligence tracked the sentiment for all seven brands during the same time frame on Twitter.
Fast-food chains often face "social backlash," leaving some experts to question if brands should play on social platforms. But Amobee's data show that the bulk of fast-food-related chatter is neutral. Whether that impartiality is a win or loss is up for debate, but it does suggest that brands shouldn't shun social media.
The chart below breaks out the sentiment for each of the seven brands between Sept. 29 and Oct. 28, measuring total mentions and whether the chatter was positive, negative or neutral. The percentages are rounded, meaning that every brand's total may not add up to exactly 100 percent.
|Brand||Total mentions||Percent of positive tweets||Percent of negative tweets||Percent of neutral tweets|
|McDonald's (2.6 million followers)||99,258||11||11||77|
|Subway (2.12 million followers)||56,473||13||15||72|
|Taco Bell (1.41 million followers)||47,664||14||14||72|
|KFC (678,000 followers)||34,412||10||18||71|
|Burger King (915,000 followers)||18,677||8||12||81|
|Wendy's (654,000 followers)||3,568||19||15||67|
|Sonic (192,000 followers)||111||12||11||77|