January 24, 2012
A twitter campaign by McDonald's backfired when people started sharing the wrong kind of McDonald's stories.
McDonald's kicked things off on Thursday with the hashtag #MeetTheFarmers, in a campaign meant to draw attention to the brand's guarantee of fresh produce.
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Later in the day, however, the burger company used a dangerously vague hashtag: "When u make something w/ pride, people can taste it," McD potato supplier #McDstories
People took this hashtag and started talking trash. The Daily Mail gathered some of the best:
Here's an emailed statement from McDonald's social media director Rick Wion:
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.
Within an hour of pulling #McDStories the number of conversations about it fell off from a peak of 1600 to a few dozen. It is also important to keep those numbers in perspective. There were 72,788 mentions of McDonald's overall that day so the traction of #McDStories was a tiny percentage (2%) of that.
With all social media campaigns, we include contingency plans should the conversation not go as planned. The ability to change midstream helped this small blip from becoming something larger.
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