Can Burger King make the best of their Twitter troubles?

Burger King is trending on Twitter this morning, but not due to any of the company's own publicity efforts. The fast food chain's twitter account was hacked not long after 9:00 AM Pacific time, when the hackers changed the account name and avatar to McDonald's and began a stream of offensive tweets that lasted over an hour before the account was suspended. It's unclear at this time who the hackers are, but the account has gained over 20,000 followers since the attack began.

Burger King's social media team are clearly in crisis mode right now, but this event doesn't have to be a PR catastrophe for the brand. Other companies, such as the Red Cross and fellow fast food producer Domino's Pizza have turned social media debacles into positive publicity for their brands. In order to capitalize on the social media spotlight it's found itself in, Burger King first needs to take responsibility for losing control of the account. Pointing fingers or crying foul will make them look uptight and highlight the fact that their team dropped the ball. Second, they need to find a way to turn their predicament into a positive, through a new marketing initiative or social media campaign. If they're really clever, they'll find a way to make the whole thing funny and endear themselves to the 20,000 new followers their hackers just handed them.

Check out Mashable's or Gizmodo's coverage for continued updates of the hack.