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My conclusions about the worst campaign in twitter by a restaurant chain


Some time ago restaurant chain McDonald's launched a campaign with a goal that is being quite repetitive recently in its communication strategy, show and demonstrate to consumers the origin, and quality control of their raw materials from performing their famous products.

The worst campaign in Restaurants Twitter

Unlike other times, This time they decided to change the channel and chose a social environment, specific twitter and this campaign based on two hashtags Promoted, something within reach of few companies as the price may exceed 100.000$ for each.

The campaign began with the launch of the first hashtag was #McDStories (McDonald's stories), with the idea to inform users of twitter real stories of companies that supply them with raw materials to make their products.

The launch tweet and link were as follows :

A couple of hours later, they released another hashtag #MeetTheFarmers (Meet the farmers), with the same idea, to inform one of its most important suppliers such as the meat from the figure of farmers.

The tweet with the campaign was throwing this, also it was accompanied by a link to the following video.

As well, So far it seems quite normal, Nothing is further from reality, because within minutes of launching the campaign, and especially the hashtag #McDStories, twitter began flooding thousands of dissatisfied users against the restaurant chain, their products and everything will revolve around the brand.

Here is a small sample :

The issue came to such an extent that very soon there were more than 72.000 mentions of the brand, and the vast majority very negative. Twitter campaign was a disaster and the hashtag #McDStories two hours to leave was withdrawn to avoid greater evils. The director of social media for McDonald's, Rick Wion, I had to send a statement explaining what happened.

The conclusions I draw from this crisis are the following :

It was a preventable crisis

Often we see as there are attacks through social media celebrities or companies motivated primarily by external factors, involuntary or ignorance unfortunate and environmental aspects.

This case exceeds any other, since it is the own chain of restaurants which rather naively and with a demonstrated ignorance of what a social communication channel, In this case twitter, It generates the breeding ground for thousands elicited negative comments that directly influence your reputation online, It is entirely predictable and therefore preventable.

You are sales leader…And in affections?

Undoubtedly, McDonald's is a chain of restaurants leader in sales and known worldwide, in a highly competitive industry and large commercial enemies.

When this action McDonald's creates social networks so from the pulpit, from the subjectivity of thinking that is the market leader and without considering the negative consequences on social media that position entails.

Think that people would respond to a hashtag as #McDStories, not having any idea what this is.

If they had watched the campaign from the point of view more objective, You may have noticed that this hashtag could also inspire the opposite reaction to the planned.

Campaigns of this size is always necessary previous testings or at least seek outside opinions that reduce these doses of subjectivity, since then it is almost impossible to solve the problem once the viral message is underway.

The model has changed

Once again shows the great difference between traditional media and social media.

We are used to seeing moving campaigns McDonald's on TV, in the press and in the restaurants own chain, where they have the excellence of its raw materials, but are media in which the message is totally controlled by the emitter thereof, definitely, and so we understand, by paying.

In social networks this does not happen, That's one of the great things of this medium, the initial message can throw, promote or pay the company, but the final message transforms, build it, and decides the social community.

As I often say in my lectures and courses, no longer worth what the company says about it, worth what your customers say about her, This is the new model that we face.

Poor choice of hashtag

The hiring and pay a hashtag promoted, It entitles you to a greater visibility within the social network, but this should not be confused, in no case, in fact control the content, not even, and as we have seen in this example, that the content is favorable to drive campaign.

I would not say that the text is provocative hashtag #McDStories, but if it is true that in an environment like twitter, text such as ambiguous and above a large company like this, loved and hated worldwide, much attention among users generating a lot of content.

Look around

For more seriousness of the issue, McDonald's even made a small study of what was happening in their own market regarding actions twitter, as they would have noticed that shortly before the launch of his campaign, exactly the same thing happened to one of their top competitors such as the Wendy's restaurant chain, in particular with the hashtag promoted #HeresTheBeef, where thousands of tweets were also created against the company.

difficult to solve

McDonald's thought that removing the hashtag solve the problem and what you got is trying to put out the fire with gasoline, since the ingenuity has no limits and twitter users to quickly generate alternative as hashtags #McFail O #McDHorrorStories who promoted and diversified further negative comments and even today the first of them is still alive.


Definitely, an incredible lesson SMR (Social Media restauranting) and how you should not do things in social networks, more evidence that we face a new model where even companies with more resources and more powerful in the world know how to act, a unique opportunity for anonymous and small to do things better than large…are you going to miss it?


About the Author

CEO of DiegoCoquillat.com and director of the EscuelaDiegoCoquillat.com, teacher, consultant, lecturer and entrepreneur incorrigible. If you can not find it here, search near the sea. Passion for new technologies and restaurants ... passion for life.


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  1. Pingback: Network as buying prescirptor « A blog about communication 2.0

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