We've seen companies create Twitter hash tags to promote a new product or rally up some hype. But it's not every day we see one go terribly wrong.
Last Wednesday, McDonald's created a set of Twitter hash tags, #McDStories and #MeetTheFarmers, for the Twitterverse to share their testimony and stories about the brand. However the promotional campaign became an epic fail when countless tweets rolled in depicting horror stories ranging from finding a burger containing a finger nail to vomiting on site.
The tweets went live on Jan. 18, reading, 'When u make something w/pride, people can taste it,' McD potato supplier and Meet some of the hard-working people dedicated to providing McDs with quality food every day with intentions to shed light on the farmers who curate the fresh produce used in the fast food chain.
Both tweets included the sponsored Twitter hash tag, #McDStories, as an outlet for those to share their tales. The plan, however, backfired.
Almost immediately after, Twitter users took the opportunity to slam the brand, with outbursts that McDonald's uses pig meat from gestation crates, makes the person vomit and detailing contaminants found in the food.
While Wion said he expected an array of responses from both fans and detractors, the social media fail proved hard for the company to control.
One user, @MuzzaFuzza, wrote, I haven't been to McDonalds in years, because I'd rather eat my own diarrhea.
Eventually, Wion said the company got its hand on controlling the outpouring of tweets and eventually rid of half of the promotional campaign.
It was negative enough that we set about a change of course, Wion said.
As Twitter continues to evolve its platform and engagement opportunities, we're learning from our experiences, he said, noting the company rid of the #McDStories hash tag altogether. The #MeetTheFarmers hash tag is still in place and has received a balanced mix of criticism and favorable comments.
Here are some of the best (and worst) tweets from the McDonald's #McDStories blunder on Twitter:
@Muzzafuzza: I haven't been to McDonalds in years, because I'd rather eat my own diarrhea.
@None_0ther: Dude said he found a roach on his sandwich
@hypekills1226: Doing it in the parking lot of mcdonalds
@SkipSullivan: One time I walked into McDonalds and I could smell Type 2 diabetes floating in the air and I threw up.
@Cate_Storm: I just read that McDonalds chicken nuggets have a foaming agent in them, similar to products used for building materials.
@vegan: My memories of walking into a McDonald's: the sensory experience of inhaling deeply from a freshly-opened can of dog food.
@Undateable_Girl: Paid for my food but almost left cause I was high and convinced that the workers called the cops and were using my food as bait
@DigitalStokes: I used to like McDonalds. I stopped eating McDonalds years ago because every time I ate it I felt like I was dying inside.