McDonalds: Corporates Still with the Wrong Social Media Mind Set

The week that Macdonald’s makes another massive social media gaff should bring home to CEOs and their CMOs that social media is not for the inexperienced http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2090862/McDstories-McDonalds-Twitter-promotion-backfires-users-share-fast-food-horror-stories.html.

Putting social media in the hands of a well intention junior campaign manager is like a CMO putting an automatic weapon in the hands of an angry 5 year old. And yet despite the very public mishaps of MP’s, Skittles, Habitat, United Airlines, Nestle, Toyota and countless more many corporates are still lost as to how use social media effectively.  Yet paradoxically there is now enough experience and evidence to know what social media strategies work and don’t work.

The main issue is that companies and many agencies still believe that social media is about marketing campaigns and running them in the same way they always have done.  In fact social media marketing and communications is so fundamentally different a whole new approach is required

A change of mind set is needed.  Consider social media or social commerce as a strategic marketing and communications channel that has the power to make organisations more agile, be much more in tune with their employees their market and their supply chain. Social media has the potential to transform businesses.

Astra Zeneca announced drastic cut backs, making thousands redundant because they had new drugs coming to market soon enough. Yet those Pharmaceutical companies are using social media to crowdsource R&D and innovation, such as Proctor & Gamble, are keeping their share price up by having reduced R&D cycle times by 40% through using an online network of 80,000 independent innovators.

CEO’s and CMO’s need to make social media strategic and stop delegating it to marketing campaign managers and campaign managers need to understand that social media is not about campaigns. Social media marketing is its most effective when joining up traditional marketing campaigns and perpetuating ongoing consumer engagement thereby building brand loyalty and increased word of mouth.  Tactical marketing campaigns and social media do not mix as McDonald’s has yet again demonstrated.

Paul Fennemore

Managing Director Viapoint

http://www.viapoint.co.uk

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