McDonald’s has been known as a fast food juggernaut, with being able to sell to over a million people a day. But, just like every other company, a promotional strategy is needed to keep awareness of your establishment. In January of 2012, McDonald’s attempted a new Twitter campaign using the hash tag #McDstories. The feedback they were receiving was far from what they expected. Tweeters would post negative things about McDonald’s whether it be a sickness they received from the food, the atmosphere or even the way food is made and processed. Within two hours of the promotional campaign debut, McDonald’s changed their promotional program quickly as they dropped it within two hours. Social Media director, Rick Wion issued a statement afterwards saying:
“Last Thursday, we planned to use two different hashtags during a promoted trend – #meetthefarmers and #McDstories. While #meetthefarmers was used for the majority of the day and successful in raising awareness of the Supplier Stories campaign, #McDstories did not go as planned. We quickly pulled #McDstories and it was promoted for less than two hours.”
Even though the struggle was real for McDonald’s, it just goes to show how well they are able to handle these situations with the promotional campaign ending within two hours and only generating roughly 1,500 mentions of stories that shouldn’t be told about a company. On top of that, Wion was able to comment on the matter and explain to the public why its promo ended and staying away from detail was beast for their public.
Some of the tweets in response to #McDstories consisted of:
“Hospitalized for food poisoning back 1989. Never ate there again and became a vegetarian. Should have sued”
“I lost 50 pounds in 6 months after I quit working and eating at McDonald’s”
“Ordered a McDouble, something in the damn thing chipped my molar”
Hopefully in the future, social media experts within the company will think about what their customers might generate towards the hash tag instead of assuming all stories told can be good. From experience here we can see even big boys can make mistakes.