#McDStories: Twitter Turns on McDonald's
McDonald's Attempts Viral Marketing with #McDStories
McDonald's made a valiant attempt at viral marketing by starting the #McDStories hashtag. However, McDonald's only managed to post two tweets before Twitter users hijacked the whole thing. The campaign began as #MeetTheFarmers, which is pretty boring, to be honest.
Now, though, Mickey D's is wishing it stuck with boring.
Dissatisfied customers, as well as folks who just love to dis Mickey D's, swarmed #McDStories like locusts, adding such gems as:
- David Cook: "McNuggets was the last meat my wife ever ate. Said it was enough motivation to become a vegetarian. Still veggie after 10+ yrs. #McDStories"
- Sine Emilie Halvgaar: "McD: I can eat with my fingers, and you're always open when I'm drunk and lack good judgement. #McDStories"
- Nate Bramble: "My father used to bring us to McDonalds as a reward when we were kids. Now he's horribly obese and has diabetes. Lesson learned #McDStories"
- Griffith Williams: "No one in a Mcdonalds thinks 'i respect myself' #McDstories"
... and thousands more. The problem was that whoever came up with this plan didn't quite realize McDonald's' relationship with its customers, and didn't help matters by starting the hashtag campaign with two very bland tweets. Twitter hates a vacuum.
Now comes the part of this story's life cycle that's akin to a dead whale sinking to the bottom of the sea: it becomes food for others until nothing remains but bones. In this case, other social media experts (and "experts") weigh in on what went wrong.
It's really simple, actually: no matter how big your brand is, you don't control social media. Any idiot (or genius) can tweet; the barrier to entry is effectively nil. Haters gonna hate, and they can do so publicly with pretty much zero effort.
So Ronald McDonald got his clown ass handed to him with #McDStories, but organic usage of the McDonald's brand, while flying under the radar, was probably a bit more balanced.
Realistically, I can't imagine that the fortunes of a hashtag will have any impact whatsoever on McDonald's in terms of sales, but those who manage a web-dependent brand may want to keep examples like this in mind when gauging the viability of a Twitter campaign.