Online Conversation Around Burgers Favors In-N-Out
The Online Conversation: Burgers
The Online Conversation: Burgers

I like cheeseburgers. While my typical flippant reference to affiliate relationships is silly and a fun way to disclose and make the FTC stay away from me, it’s true. But I got into a discussion with Lisa Joy Rosner at NetBase about the best burgers the other day. Then we both thought … NetBase is an online market research tool, let’s see what the web says about the best burger.

Because NetBase’s product, ConsumerBase, uses netnography and advanced language processing to pull insights and information out of online conversations, you can use it to drill down and find information (like preference, passion, buying intent and the like) that regular monitoring services don’t provide.

When Lisa took my list of brands we should look for and popped back with the NetBase Brand Passion Index chart, I was surprised. The size of the circles represents the volume of conversation. Their place on the grid shows the axis of sentiment (good/bad) and passion (love/hate) of the brand in question based on the online conversations found.

Brand Passion Index - BurgersIn-N-Out had the most chatter among the seven brands and 62 percent of that was positive passion (love). It also had the second-most positive chatter of all the brands with 93 percent of its conversation being of positive sentiment.

White Castle had just seven percent of the total conversation, but 63 percent of its fans expressed love for the brand. (Blew me away. I’m not a fan.) But it also had the second-most “hate” conversations. It’s definitely a “love it or hate it” kinda brand.

Big Macs had some of the highest “like” and “dislike” scores (lack of passion) and just 13 percent of the conversation.

The Whopper showed a 58 percent love score and was the burger people seemed to be the most passionately positive about. And how’s this for an insight? The Whopper was the burger most craved by pregnant women. (Free stat of the day. You’re welcome.)

Five Guys had the most positive chatter at 95 percent and 54 percent of that with “love” passion. It also had more total online conversations.

And then we come to my favorite (I know, I know … but I love ’em): Wendy’s. The Wendy burger had the highest hate score (11 percent) but was in the no-man’s land of high likes and high dislikes. The audience is kinda “eh?” on Wendy’s. They can eat ’em, but don’t love ’em.

What do burgers have to do with SME? Nothing directly. But using an online research tool like Consumer Base can give you an interesting perspective on your brand and competitors that you probably didn’t have before. The more information you have, the more informed your content and marketing can be.

What tools are you using to glean information about your business and/or your competitors online? Do they give you the type of passion/sentiment package you want?

And just for fun, what’s your favorite burger? And don’t limit it to the ones we analyzed. I need ideas for new ones to try!

NOTE: NetBase is Social Media Explorer’s online market research partner. In exchange for access to research like this, I provide their audience with helpful webinars and content like the 11 For ’11 Webinar coming up Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. Register here for the free webinar, Manage The Mess: 11 Tools To Manage Social Media.

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at
  • Pingback: » Mid-Week Burger Roundup: Austin Grill, Five Guys, Beer & More | Burger Days()

  • Burmaroad1940

    Fatburger is the best I've found. Colorado based Smashburger is an up and comer.

  • what an amazing article)) the idea is brilliant and worth to be heard and understood!!! hope that will come true one day)

  • I love it! Using social networking platforms to prove a point…great stuff. I am not really a burger person but definitely can see how these burgers ranked from what my friends tell me.

    Thanks for the fun post


  • The Lo-Carb Thickburger at Hardee's. (Or Carl's Jr., which you also need to add when factoring the numbers…)

  • Um, you have to try a Dicks burger in Seattle! I'd be curious to see their sentiment/passion. It's quite the cult following in the Pacific Northwest. Once you know where you stand on the chart, the hard part is getting to where you want to be. Much like trying to “make a viral video”, it's not easy to become something people are passionate about. In fact, I'd almost be happier with something like White Castle's results rather than Wendy's.

  • I have to think In N Out and White Castle receive more chatter because they're rarer and not available everywhere (it certainly can't be based on how White Castle burgers taste :p ). Because you can only get an In N Out burger in a certain part of the country, it creates a cult fandom. Something small business owners may want to remember. ;)

  • “Big mac:” is by far the best burger..and I'm using my audience feed back to rate my performance..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Ireadyouremail

    I assume that the White Castle discussion is filtering out references to Harold & Kumar?

  • “Big Mac” and “Whopper” are brands of burgers; Five Guys and White Castle are brands of restaurant. It's never about the tools, and it's always about the questions.


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