Kirsten McNeill is a Co-ordinator on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group. Follow @kirstenmcne.

McDonald’s Social Media Disaster

Last week McDonald’s launched a Twitter campaign to increase awareness around their use of fresh produce in their food, using the unique hashtag #MeetTheFarmers, which they used in paid-for tweets which were inserted into the streams of Twitter users. This campaign appeared to have a positive start but things took a turn when McDonald’s decided to change the hashtag to #McDStories. This new hashtag was meant to be used to tweet about positive stories customers had with the fast food chain but it was quickly hijacked with tweets of the opposite – very negative and unpleasant tales!

Check out the video below to see some more of these negative tales:

The brave McDonald’s decided to give it another go with another new hashtag campaign on Wednesday, #LittleThings. This change was meant to be used to tweet the little things that bring joy. They kicked it off by tweeting, “No line at the bank, a large tax refund, & those extra fries at the bottom of the bag. What are some #LittleThings that bring you joy?” Even though this seems to be a very open-ended hashtag for the campaign, so far it hasn’t been used to bad-mouth the brand. Let’s hope they have this one under control.

Timothy’s Social Media Backlash

Here we have another social media fail. Timothy’s Coffees of the World ran a promotion on Facebook in December. Just for “Liking” their Facebook Page, the company promised to send fans four free 24-pack boxes of single-serve coffee. Because boxes of these retail for about $17.95, the deal ended up on contest-aggregating websites and an overwhelming number of customers jumped on the promotion. The company underestimated how many people would sign up and their stock was depleted within three days, but they had already sent an email to all of the entrants letting them know that the coffee was on its way. Once they realized that they couldn’t fulfill their promise, they fell silent.  At the beginning of January, Timothy’s tried to cover themselves by claiming that the promotion was “first come, first serve” and those that were unable to get samples would be sent a “great email offer.” Only now, a month later, has the company put out an apology video. This was one of their biggest mistakes because when it comes to social media, you need to respond as soon as possible; a month is far too long.

Increase Click-Through Rates for your Tweets

Dan Zarella, HubSpot’s social media scientist, has put together a really insightful infographic on how to get the highest number of click-throughs for you tweets. Some of the more obvious findings were that tweets between 120 and 130 characters get retweeted more than those that are longer or shorter than that. He also found that tweets on the weekend and later in the day have a higher click-through rate than those on weekdays and in the morning. But an interesting finding is that the phrase “daily is out,” indicating that the tweet is using online newspaper tool paper.li, had the greatest positive effect on click-through rates. Take a look at the rest of his findings:

 

Facebook Introduces Clicks to Action

We have already started seeing some of the new applications that Facebook’s Open Graph platform enables, such as seeing what your friends are reading or listening to. Coming soon, Facebook will be increasing these apps and going live with over 60 Timeline App partners. These apps will combine in-network sharing with your interaction on outside sites so that Facebook users can not only see what their friends are “Liking” on Facebook but also what actions they are taking on other sites. In order to share these external actions, a range of new buttons will be showing up on the partnered external sites. Recipe Box, one of Facebook’s partnering sites, will have “Cooked” and “Want” action buttons so that when you see a recipe that you have cooked or want to try, you can click the appropriate button, which then distributes that action to your Timeline, News Feed and Ticker.

 

The idea is to increase sharing, strengthen relationships through interests and foster conversations. What do you think? Will you be sharing some of your actions from outside sites onto your Timeline?

Google Services Unified

Google will be rolling out a major change on March 1 – unifying their privacy policies and creating a set of integrated products. The change will work towards integrating all of your Google uses and account such as search, Gmail, YouTube, social (Google+) and work so that users can have one continuous Google experience. In order to allow for this unified experience, Google is overhauling of all of its privacy policies into one aims to be a lot shorter and easier to read. The new policy will allow Google to gather information from one of their services and deliver it to you via another. This will make your experience more customized because Google will have more of your personal information – it can know your location, what’s on your calendar for the day, spelling suggestions based on words you’ve used before or names from your address book, etc. This additional information will also make it easier for marketers to reach their target market and provide personalized messaging.

Check out Google’s video explaining this change:

What do you think of this upcoming change? Do you think that this will be helpful or do you feel that Google is invading your privacy?

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