[Infographic] How McDonald’s Rules The Social World Too


Peter Claridge

August 8, 2014 4 min read

Updated on September 18, 2019

McDonald’s. Goliaths in the real world. Giants in the social one.

During a recent team lunch, in which we wondered who would win in a social media Burger War, we set to work to answer the question once and for all. For some, it might not come as a surprise that McDonald’s steals Burger King’s crown when it comes to ruling over Facebook and Twitter.

McDonald's - King of Social Media

Kantar Media says that McDonald’s spent close to $900mn on advertising in the US alone. Hardly a revelation then, that they’ve become an unstoppable marketing machine that creates irresistible content that fans and followers want to share and engage with. It’s also said that they have six full time staff operating their Twitter account – although we’re assuming that’s for multiple accounts because their main account managed 950 tweets between January and February, compared to an average of 2,100 tweets for the brands we looked at.

Talking of Twitter and McDonald’s, when we looked at Average Reply Time (how quickly are brands responding to tweets from customers), McDonald’s rules the roost with an ART of just 29 minutes. Chipotle is hot on the heels though, they respond to tweets within 37 minutes on average which is even more impressive when you consider they responded to over 15,000 tweets in that time. Strangely, although Burger King is replying to plenty of tweets, it takes them over 2 1/2 days on average to reply – it makes us wonder what are they doing during that time, reply by committee consensus?

McDonald's Average Reply Time on Twitter

We also took a look at the ratio of male and female fans for the big fast food restaurants. We’re not going to court controversy here and jump to conclusions about this data, but in keeping with other industry sectors on Facebook, ladies are far more likely to be fans of fast food joints than men. Interestingly, Baskin-Robbins, Diary Queen and Dunkin-Donuts are overwhelmingly preferred by women – but like we said, we’ll let the readers draw their own conclusions from this! Carl’s Jr proved itself to be the burger of choice for the men, being one of only two brands that had a male majority.

Male and Female Fan Ratios For QSR Brands on Facebook

The Taco Bell social media team proved themselves to be consistent all-rounders across Facebook and Twitter. While not leading the pack in any one metric that we analyzed, they performed well in terms of engagement with their Facebook fans and were able to reply to over 2,800 tweets in an average of 46 minutes – impressive by any account. However, Taco Bell lost out to McDonald’s due to much lower than average growth rates on Facebook and Twitter, coming in at 12% and 13% respectively. The average growth for the QSR industry was 33% for Facebook and 27% for Twitter, more than double what Taco Bell managed.

Best Engaging Brand on Facebook, Most Tweets on Twitter

Content wise, the brands we analyzed are posting their Facebook content mostly on Thursdays, which is interesting given that as a sector, the best engagement for QSR happens on the weekends. Tweets are mostly sent out between 3pm and 6pm, possibly due to that being the decision making time of what people are going to do for dinner. Some brands, like Chipotle take the ‘always on’ nature of the Internet quite literally and have a 24/7 Twitter operation that posts and responds to followers throughout the night.

Time of Day Most Content Posted on Facebook and Twitter

Sticking with content, Unmetric analyses the content of every Facebook post using humans to ensure accuracy. Most brands asked questions to their fans, with engagement oriented posts coming in second (eg. “LIKE this if you LOVE our Onion Rings”). Menu updates punch above their weight when it comes to getting people to engage with the content, an indication perhaps that fans want to know what’s new and different with the food they can order.

QSR Content Analysis

The full QSR social media infographic is posted below, please feel free to repost it, as long as the credit remains with Unmetric.


The content was taken from the Unmetric platform between January 2012 and May 2012. The engagement score is calculated based on the number of Likes, Comments, Shares and Impressions each post receives. The Unmetric score is unique to each social network and industry sector. It is based on 24 qualitative and quantitative metrics that are weighted together to produce a single score that provides an accurate snapshot of how a brand is performing on social media.

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