The brand used Twitter’s fledgling promoted hashtag ad platform to rally fans and encourage them to share positive stories about McDonald’s experiences using the hashtag #McDStories.
The campaign, however, backfired when critics such a animal rights group PETA started using the hashtag to raise issues with McDonald’s practices and unhappy customers used it to slam the restaurant chain and share negative stories.
Rick Wion, McDonald’s social media director, says: “Within an hour, we saw that it wasn’t going as planned. It was negative enough that we set about a change of course. 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.”
McDonald’s yesterday (24 January) reported that total revenue reached $27bn (£17.3bn) last year, up 8% o the previous year while global sales increased 5.6%.
The UK, France, Russia and Germany led growth in Europe during the year.