Burger King recently utilized influencers on Twitter to create a buzz for the release of its latest menu item. Sound typical? Well, they did it for free.

While most businesses will pay influencers to help with promotions, Burger King for a lack of a better word, “tricked” influencers.

How Burger King did it

Burger King’s official Twitter account began liking people’s tweets from 2009 and 2010. Many of them were influencers.

Confused by odd, random activity, these influencers tweeted out wondering why Burger King was doing this.

Soon after people began wondering what Burger King was up to, Burger King’s official account tweeted this out:

Come to find out, all of that odd behavior was done to help announce that their funnel cake fries, an item from the years of the tweets Burger King was liking, was being put back on the menu.

To say the least, this execution was pretty genius.

The story continued, however, when influencer Casey Neistat faked feeling taken advantage of and challenged Burger King to “pay him” by donating to charities.

Burger King reached out to the influencer with almost 11 million subscribers on YouTube and with no request for publicity, took it upon themselves to donate $25,000 each to 2 of his favorite charities: The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The takeaway

Burger King is known for its bend the rules social media, especially on Twitter. Their recent activities include getting people to go to competitor McDonald’s to order a Whopper for 1-cent through their app and making fun of Donald Trump spelling hamburger as “hamberders.”

While having that online personality may not work for every brand or business, Burger King provides some general lessons that we can all learn from when connecting with influencers and communicating on social media.

When all’s said and done, we can boil the lessons down to three needs. The need to be present, the need to be nimble, and the need to simply be good people and companies.