Making The Most of a #McStake

January 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm Leave a comment

As a vegetarian, I never thought I’d be saying this, but here goes….. Good job McDonald’s.

When their Twitter campaign using #McDStories went terribly wrong, they admitted it and took it down.  They introduced the hashtag Thursday with they tweeted “When u make something with pride, people can taste it.”  People jumped on the hashtag, using it to kvetch about all things McDonalds ranging from food poisoning to chipped molars from the burgers.

They moved quickly to take down the campaign.  Here’s part of the smart, self-effacing email from McDonald’s social media director Rick Wion that explained it:


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.

Bravo, McD’s!  You admitted a mistake and didn’t let the need to be right keep you from admitting a screw up.  Here’s the lesson to all corporations where arrogance gets in the way of such actions: you can admit a mistake and people will forgive and forget.  Or you can think of yourselves as infallible and NO ONE will forgive OR forget.


Entry filed under: Crisis Management, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

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Andrea Obston, President

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