McDonald's recently created a twitter hashtag #McDStories with a tweet that read " 'When u make something w/pride, people can taste it'– McD potato supplier #McDStories"
Soon after the tweets started, consumers from around the world, hijacked the tag, and started tweeting their negative experiences about the fast food giant. Consumers started ranting about their bad experiences with quality, and service. Read a few ugly tweets from the tag at Business Insider and The Daily Mail
A quick visit to the #McDStories tag on twitter reveals that it is now flooded with news about the epic fail. But what exactly happened?? Twitter pulled the promoted tweets under the #McDStories once the negative tweets started to gather mass. The tweets were promoted for roughly two hours. Is it a real social media fail as being reported? Not really.
On that particular day, there were around 73,000 mentions of McDonald's on twitter, and the #McDStories formed only a miniscule 2% of that. It is also a true and live example of what social media is, and how companies should act, for beginners in social media.
- Social Media does not offer the company/brand absolute control, as is the case with traditional advertising
- Social media is a very active medium, actions happen real time: As the case with #McDTweets, where the complete purpose of the hashtag was changed within the blink of the eye
- Brands should be alert, and always watching the activities related to them/on their account: McDonald's was. They pulled the promoted tweet and the discussions dropped from the peak of around 1600 tweets, to just dozens
- Social Media messages are shortlived: #McDStories lived for just 2 hours, before becoming a news stream
- Brands should constantly re-invent things and move on: There is no time for long evaluations and action plans. Immediate action is the call of the hour. McDonald's started another hastag #LittleThings, immediately after pulling the #McDStories tag
- Always have a Plan B. And also Plans C, D, E, F, and more
So if I were to tell you, is the #McDStories promotion a disastrous fail for McD?, or should McD have been more careful?, I would say McDonald's on its part, did the right things it should have done. It experimented with social media and started the promotion, people took over control and went beserk (Typical social media phenomenon), McDonald's pulled the campaign (Alert Brand, and right action), McDonald's moved on to #LittleThings shaking off the dust it gathered from the #McDStories fall. Overall things only look positive to me.
Well, that's my opinion, let me know what you think.