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Sep 19 2013

Social Media Case Study: McDonald’s on Facebook

A great example of practices to avoid in your Facebook strategy comes from McDonald’s on Facebook.

mcdonald's on facebookHave you ever visited McDonald’s on Facebook? The brand might look great by the numbers – nearly 30M likes, tons of check-ins, and plenty of engagement on their individual posts – but if you look closely, you’ll see that the brand is displaying some bad habits that smaller companies, without a household name, should probably avoid.

When it comes to McDonald’s on Facebook, there are certain things that the company can get away with based solely on the nature of the brand. Those golden arches are recognized the world over, and there is little the brand can do without getting a massive amount of attention for it – for better or worse.

There are three things that the brand does on Facebook, however, that might work for McDonald’s, but should be avoided at all costs by smaller brands without the commercial clout the fast food chain has to fall back on.

No Engagement

Despite the fact that every post shared by McDonald’s generates hundreds if not thousands of comments by fans of the brand, McDonald’s has virtually never responded to a single user.

Now when a post generates hundreds of responses in a matter of hours, it might be hard to respond to every one of them – that’s fair. But there is not so much as a ‘Thank You’ by the brand anywhere. Now pretend this was not McDonald’s. Let’s say it was a small, single-location restaurant with a loyal customer base. Would it not seem strange if people were sharing content and reaching out to the company and being completely ignored?

There should always be some form of Social Care in place – customer service on social media. Let your audience know that you are listening and being social, and not simply using the platform to promote your brands.

And that brings us to the second faux pas by the brand.

All About the Sale

Go through the posts shared by McDonald’s on Facebook, and you might be surprised to see that almost everything the company is sharing is promoting their products – and nothing else. With the exception of a few albums for some McDonald’s-sponsored events or Monopoly, everything McDonald’s shares has that sales pitch feeling to it.

Again, what would people say if a brand without the commercial clout that McDonald’s has started doing this? It probably wouldn’t go over so well.

No Thanks Given

Despite consistently high levels of engagement with their sales-based posts, there is nothing unique offered by McDonald’s on their Facebook page in order to reward loyal fans.

Take a look at what Cadbury did to thank their fans on Facebook, and you’ll see an excellent example of a brand showing customer appreciation. McDonald’s makes no effort to show gratitude, and one has to assume that if those golden arches were not behind it, would they find as much success on Facebook?

It might look good on the surface – hard to argue that close to 30 million fans is a bad thing – but in reality, McDonald’s exhibits several ‘Do Nots’ when it comes to Facebook. Smaller brands would be best to take the McDonald’s Facebook strategy as a list of practices to avoid.

What big brands do you think have done a great job on Facebook or other social channels? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

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Corey Padveen

Corey Padveen is Google AdWords Certified, Google Analytics Certified, a Certified Inbound Marketer and the Director of Global Social Business Strategy at t2 Marketing International. He is a principle strategist for B2B, B2C, B2G and NFP client-centered digital marketing initiatives and is a leading authority on the concepts of Social Equity and Responsive Branding. As the primary author of the t2 Marketing International digital marketing blog, a contributing author to a number of reputable marketing publications and a keynote speaker, Corey regularly shares his wealth of knowledge in the realm of digital marketing, data analysis and social media, and their applications to business in the digital age.
www.t2social.com

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