McDStories in context

There has been a lot of digital ink spilled over this story, and definitely more to come. Among all the incredibly similar stories, I came across a very nice writeup on some other thoughts on the situation, including what I thought were some solid Lessons Learned.

McDonald’s Twitter Mess: What Went Wrong

The fast-food giant lost control of its own Twitter campaign. Here’s how you can avoid the same mistake.

Lessons Learned

Looking back at this debacle, you can see how McDonald’s unintentionally set itself up for failure.

  • It incongruously migrated from the original #MeetTheFarmers well-intentioned hashtag to the new #McDStories one.
  • It didn’t ever really explain what the hashtag #McDStories meant or in what context it was supposed to be used.
  • It chose a hashtag that was easy to take out of context. Brand names in hashtags open a company up for negative exploitation.
  • Then, once the exploitation began, McDonald’s pulled down the tweet and mostly clammed up on the subject.

The company probably hoped that the whole mess would blow over—and didn’t want to make the problem any worse by talking about it. The problem is that to their critics, the silence only reinforced that idea that McDonald’s wasn’t really in it for the conversation, just the promotion.

And the Twitterverse doesn’t look too favorably on overly self-serving activities.


– Randall Noval


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