Posted at: January 29, 2012 2:00 PM
by Kera Cottingham
In the world of tweeting, how detrimental is a runaway hashtag? This week, McDonald’s experimented with the hashtag #McDStories and quickly learned how a simple hashtag gone astray can escalate into the social media bashing of your company.
McDonald’s launched the Twitter campaign with hopes of lovey dovey reactions from its consumers as they told of their McDonald’s experiences. The exact opposite occurred. Within hours of launching the hashtag, the company had plenty of people promoting its hashtag, but in a not so cheery way. Many people posted the vile things found in their Big Macs or the amount of time spent with their heads in the toilet after eating McNuggets.
On Business Insider, Gus Lubin quoted McDonald’s social media director Rick Wion who admitted defeat with the hashtag. However, the McDonald’s social media team decided not to go down without a fight and less than a day later, McDonald’s launched yet another hashtag. This time #LittleThings was the hashtag of choice to promote its new Chicken McBites.
McDonald’s may not have had evident failure with this hashtag yet, but those already following the fast food mogul witnessed its Twitter roast earlier in the week.
So does one mediocre hashtag without obvious backlash serve to balance out the tremendous failure of #McDStories? I think not. McDonald’s has some serious ground to cover and it may want to start with appeasing some of the McDonald’s haters out there.
Also, one must consider the overall ramifications negative publicity has on a company’s image. McDonald’s is already a readily debated company, especially in the realm of childhood obesity and America’s overall increase in pant size.
I don’t believe McDonald’s has the wiggle room to point the finger at itself again with another poorly thought-out hashtag. Let’s just hope for McDonald’s sake that this #LittleThing won’t turn into its social media grave.