#McDStories & the Anatomy of a Failed Promoted Hashtag

January 8, 2014
Not all huge companies experience success when it comes to social media advertising and hashtag creation. Promoted hashtags can still fail despite the effort and money put into these by corporations. McDonald?s and other big names in the industry had setbacks that continue to echo to the present. Social media marketers will always remember the rules from #McDStories and other failed hashtags. Knowing these will help you gain long term success in the business. #McDStories The hashtag was created in 2012 to encourage loyal customers to share their best experiences in the famous fast food chain. However, social media trolls immediately hijacked the conversation and many people instead shared their worst and traumatic experiences while dining in some of McDonald?s franchises. It is one of the biggest hijacks to have ever occurred in social media, despite the company?s experience and expertise in marketing. #UnwrapWhatsFresh The promoted hashtag was launched by McDonald?s in 2013 to introduce its new product, the Premium McWrap. The conversation was geared towards encouraging people to promote a healthier and fitter lifestyle. The contents of the product were also shared on Twitter, using low-calorie ingredients and fresh vegetables. Again, the hashtag was hijacked, although not to the same extent as its predecessor. People started sharing their horror stories in the restaurant, talking about unhealthy agents and dangerous chemicals included in their food. Social media users also shared jokes about what the new product could include, at the same time sarcastically pointing out that it was healthy.

The Big Lesson

There are many lessons to be learned from the failure of McDonald?s. First, social media brands should be aware of the fact that people research further and consult with other experts instead of simply listening to what marketers have to present. Many businesses take the risk of misrepresenting their brand and products and then getting exposed, thereby losing customers and income for a long time. Second, marketers should carefully think about the keywords to use when making hashtags. There are plenty of instances in which conversations became easily subject to criticism and hijacks because of inappropriately used terms and reckless joining of words together in the hashtag. Big companies may afford promoted hashtags, but they should stay more vigilant in checking how the potential audience will receive their advertisements. Small companies should be more cautious, since they have limited marketing funds and cannot afford to lose their reputation and customers.

Should Businesses Invest in Promoted Hashtags?

A promoted hashtag will only be as effective as the team or individual preparing it. Investors and business owners should observe the content and preparations made among successful and failed hashtags. Keep the content original and unique, attract the audience and offer them benefits instead of aiming for a quick sale and learn how to follow up on customers and provide support after sales. Maintain your social media presence and monitor the progress of the hashtag using the right apps and tools online. Hashtags and promoted hashtags can be very powerful tools when used properly.

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