Social Media in Business

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McDonalds is the top restaurant chain in the world, with more sales than the remaining top 10 restaurants added together. Along with all that success, McDonalds has received their share of criticism and controversy. Between the movie “Supersize Me” and the burning coffee incident, McDonalds struggled for a couple of years to keep their name clean. Recently, the company found themselves in more controversy due to a social networking site. In January 2012, McDonalds tried trending a topic on twitter (#McDStories), and the responses they received were far from what they had in mind.

Upon trending the topic, #McDStories, hundreds of responses were posted in minutes. These posts were not what McDonalds had planned for. The hashtag was being used to share a variety of horror stories from people’s experiences at McDonalds. One tweet read, “Fingernail in my BigMac once #McDStories.” Another person said, “Ordered a Mcdouble once and something in it chipped my molar. #McDStories.” One extreme tweet read, “Hospitalized for food poisoning from Mcdonalds in 1989, I have been vegetarian since. Should’ve sued. #McDStories.” It is very apparent here that the twitter hashtag was being misused. These comments went on for over 2 hours until the social media director removed it. There were over 1600 mentions of McDonalds horror stories on twitter that day.

This shows the very dark side to social media in business. Unfortunately, no one can control what is said on social media sites by other people. There is no filter on the internet. Anyone can log on, and trash you/your business without your permission and without consequence. It would be wrong to say that McDonalds is completely innocent in all of this, but no business deserves to receive that much ridicule in an attempt to promote their food. The company has received a lot of this type of attention in the last decade. Thanks mostly to “Supersize Me,” many of the unsanitary and immoral practices have been exposed. This played...
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