Key role of today’s corporate leaders is to build communities and engage them in building successful organizations.
Social Media Logos
Digital technology and Social media has completely changed the dynamics of societies we live in. Technological advancements have made it easier for leaders to build stronger communities. In the past couple of years, instead of considering social media as a threat, leaders are discovering its very real opportunities.However, rapid change in technology and tools is creating an unusual challenge for corporate leaders. They not only need to keep up with the developments in the corporate world, but also required learning and practicing these constantly emerging social media tools. Acquiring knowledge and use it effectively not only requires time and energy, but a lot of commitment as well. Times have gone by when leaders could afford to let their secretaries check emails and draft responses. Promptness and direct communication is the norm now.
In this era of Social Media, large brands are generally more enthusiastic and try to engage people in discussions around their brand. This could however backfire too – In case of McDonald’s which is one of the top global brands in fast food restaurant business, it really was extremely damaging! Company spends millions of Dollars in branding strategies and social media is one of the key components ofMcDonald’s Branding Strategy.
Despite all this careful psychological validation, earlier this year McDonalds got amassive reputational hit when it ran its Twitter Campaign. It was a simple effort to engage people in sharing their experiences at McDonald’s restaurants around the world. Hashtag for the campaign was #McStories.
For McDonald’s Social Media Team, this could be a simple campaign, but they never realized that #McStories is an excellent opportunity for promoting stories that are not in favor of the restaurant. The hashtag went viral soon with people sharing their worst experiences. Initially there were few negative tweets, but soon everyone started following the Twitter Trend and phenomenal tweets started pouring in from every corner, retrieval was impossible!
“McDonald’s commitment to enhancing the customer experience from our menu and operations to our value and convenience – continues to move us closer to becoming our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.” – CEO McDonald’s Restaurants.
McDonald’s is one of the greatest brands in the world. Kids love it, elders love it and youngsters love it too. No matter you are in Europe, Asia, US or Far East, big “M” signage attracts you as a choice for quick bite. The restaurant chain operates in 117 countries and employees over 1.7 million people. How many people are indirectly engaged with McDonald’s, information which is too hard to obtain. One can only guess “Millions”!
Despite its massive outreach, the brand has suffered from bad publicity too. ItsTwitter campaign #McStories went bananas. And more recently, at London Olympics 2012 where McDonald’s was one of the lead sponsors, the brand got another hit when brand managers were trying to improve ratings, and in the process, they managed to get Mayor of London speak to reporters saying that criticism of McDonald’s was “all just bourgeois snobbery”. Mayor said that “It’s classic liberal hysteria about very nutritious, delicious, food – extremely good for you I’m told – not that I eat a lot of it myself,” he said. “Apparently this stuff is absolutely bursting with nutrients.”