Written by: Raylene Garot, AAE of Bluestone Academy
Companies love to use social media to connect with their clients. It creates a way of two-way communication that makes the clients feel more connected with the company and a way of customer service. So, it would seem like the simplest thing to do is to create a Twitter campaign using a hashtag… right? Well, not in McDonalds’ case.
Back in 2012, the fast food chain created a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #McDstories. With this campaign, McDonalds was hoping to get sweet stories that had any involvement with the popular fast food chain. But instead, things soon took a turn for the worst. Their #McDstories campaign went from a hashtag to a bashtag.
Instead of getting those sweet sentimental stories that they were expecting, McDonalds were bombarded with horror stories from the restaurant.
Luckily for the McDonalds crew, they were able to pull the campaign after only being live for two hours. But before they were able to, #McDstories created about 1,600 different conversations. Which, in all honesty, is not a lot when it comes to big companies that get have over 3.12 million followers.
Later, the social media director for the fast food giant wrote a statement addressing the issue and how it slightly affected their brand… or hardly. But #McDstories is still going strong, Twitter users are still using the hashtag to tell horror stories about the fast food restaurant. As of 2015, the hashtag is still generating tweets and still causing minor problems for them.
So, I guess this means that a hashtag is not always the best idea for a public relations campaign. Luckily for McDonalds, they still strive in the fast food business and are usually top competitors with other fast food places. So maybe McDonalds will think about future outcomes when they think about creating and posting another Twitter campaign.
It’s ok McDonalds, I am still lovin’ it.