Last Wednesday McDonald's used the hashtag #McDStories two times during a Twitter campaign promoting McDonald's suppliers with the intention of getting people on Twitter to share their feel good McDonald's stories.
Of course, it didn't turn out that way—the hashtag encouraged people to post negative tweets about McDonald's. A few examples:
McDonald's only used the hashtag twice after realizing their campaign wasn't going as planned. Instead, they focused on the hashtag #meetthefarmers, which, while not free of criticism, didn't go nearly as badly as #McDStories.
In a statement about the campaign, McDonald's social media director Rick Wion points out, "There were 72,788 mentions of McDonald's overall that day so the traction of #McDStories was a tiny percentage (2%) of that." ...And that 2 percent was probably the most memorable. A week later, people continue to use the hashtag, although now it seems to mostly refer to links to articles about the campaign-gone-wrong.
The Next Web analyzes McDonald's "too vague and naïve" campaign and shares some lessons for successful social media marketing learned from McDonald's mistakes.
Here's a video from McDonald's campaign profiling one of their beef suppliers: