It’s a growing trend in the Twitter world and companies still aren’t catching on – Company announces social media campaign… Company creates hashtag…. Twitter-verse abuses hashtag… Company removes hashtag.
Most recently, McDonald’s created a campaign that intended to highlight the positive, personal stories of its customers. They dubbed the campaign #McDStories on Twitter and let the online community have at it.
And that’s where the campaign went awry.
Like so many others, the hashtag turned into a free-for-all rant from thousands of Twitter users. From jokes to bad experiences, the posts turned a well-intentioned social media campaign into a global laugh track.
But this story is just one of many that raises an important question. Why does this keep happening?
Yes, Twitter and social media are innately volatile and companies will never be able to control every aspect of their plans. But where’s the accountability in the marketing and public relations sector?
Ultimately, this speaks volumes about the current state of the public relations world. While countless companies and industries are taking advantage of the social media boom, very few have public relations managers and directors have the creative savvy and foresight to effectively plan a long term social media campaign.
It takes a special individual to understand not just how social media works, but how each and every type of user will respond to a campaign. Because in a world where everyone has a voice, we now need to be aware of each specific reaction, in addition to the overall response.