Smart Gray Matter

Digital Marketing Solutions

McDonald’s Elitist Attitude Towards Social Media

With this blog post I’m tasked with the rather complicated dilemma of making a “hail mary” call on how much information to disclose.  Being the dedicated journalist that I am, perhaps I have no choice but to bare all.  Leave no stone unturned.

Our story begins with the revelation I admitted to in my last post.  See, I’ve been preaching the future of social media to large corporations for well over a year now.  Conscientiously I reached out to them, gently trying to prod them in the right direction.  Waving the tantalizing list of possibilities right in front of their spectacles on a regular basis.

How did I make these connections?  Come on now, if you are reading my blog then you already know.  I made them via *gasp* social media.  It isn’t rocket science people.  I immediately began doing my homework and seeking out executives on my various different socialspheres.  The name SocialSphere is quite catchy isn’t it?  So catchy in fact, that Harvard Square named their project after it.  You might wanna Google it, because it is the face of the future.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, I was talking about how I made my connections.  Here is the great thing about social media.  It creates a medium of equality.  Here, the ridiculous unspoken rules of social status are oxymoronically(WordPress thinks this word is misspelled haha) thrown out.  More specifically, we are liberated to communicate with whomever we want whenever we want and not have to be bothered by how much stock we hold in the company.

Next thing I know, I’ve managed to make some pretty #electric connections, one being Heather Oldani, the now former PR executive overseeing social media for McDonald’s.  Make no mistake, Heather is a sweet girl, and I was ecstatic when she finally let me into her close-knit social circle.  Trust me, it wasn’t easy.  If you are reading this Heather I hope you have a smile on your face.  Mission accomplished?

After connecting with her I noticed one thing right away.  This poor girl didn’t even have the time to breathe.  If you watch someone’s activity online you get a pretty good idea as to when they are tied up and when they aren’t.  Heather was lucky if she had time to send one tweet per day between all the self-important conferences McDonald’s had her attending!  Let’s be clear, I love Heather and don’t want to send any other impression about her as an individual than a positive one.  That being said, I would like to say something about McDonald’s Elitist Attitude concerning social media.

See, McDonald’s was never concerned about outside social platforms.  Why they even built a few of their own for good measure.  Station M being one of the most successful.  Oh, you’ve never heard of Station M?  That’s because it is invite only, and you have to be flipping burgers to get the invite.  Case closed.

Alright, so McDonald’s “has social media figured out.”  They even connected the dots when it came to the easy communication for the entire team.  Yes, McDonald’s did many things right, yet one thing they did that could still potentially hurt them(I crack myself up) is snub the outside world.  They were so completely uninterested in social media outside the company that at this point they only have 28K followers on Twitter.

Put on your shades because I’m about to donate a few brain cells to you here.  My blogger buddy @mikec has more followers than one of the largest corporations in the world.  What does this mean?  When Sponsored Tweets and Google Adwords Mobile takes off, McDonald’s will end up having to pay @mikec to obtain advertising on the second most popular social site in the world.  * * * * * * * * *

Please allow me to get personal for a second.  To be honest, I’m still nursing a wound.  See, I did my level best to guide McDonald’s.  I even offered them my expertise as a consultant.  What did they do?  Well, McDonald’s would never need to outsource would they?!  They are one of the most dominant examples of free enterprise in the world.  Why would they need to bring in a consultant?!

Hmmmm, I don’t know.  Why don’t we ask @mikec.  >,<

“Steven,  we don’t have any need for your services at this time, but should any opportunities open up within McDonald’s we will be happy to inform you.”

LoL.  I’m sorry, but I already did my time flipping burgers.  #HighSchoolMemories

McDonald's "Get Quenched" LoL


3 comments on “McDonald’s Elitist Attitude Towards Social Media

  1. Harrison Painter
    May 23, 2010

    I think when it comes to companies like McDonalds,they are still a bit afraid to let go 100% to just let it happen. They hired their first Director of Social Media last month, kind of sort of, and by looking at their Twitter stream, it is clear that they are just playing in the space and do not have a well defined plan.

    The Tweet Team comes off more as a bunch of interns, when they need to be a more engaging group building up a raving fan base by not just always taking Mcnuggets, but complimenting the brand via contests and promotions.) I just went through multiple Tweet streams of the team and did not see ONE foursquare reference either? hmmmmm Seems like a HUGE missed opportunity! (I know, they are cutting some big deal with facebook, but whatever, Foursquare is the app that seems to be taking the lead and where I would want my brand to aligned with in 2010 for check-ins.)

    I do not want to give them an epic fail at this point, as at least they are in the space and working at it. However, they do have over a Billion served, and to only have 25K+ followers on Twitter is dismal at best.

    Great post, and one that should get brands thinking!

    LOVE IT!


  2. Smart Gray Matter
    May 24, 2010

    Thanks Harrison! I appreciate the comment, and you are absolutely correct. They could be doing much much more. Update. Did you see the post by Scobleizer today titled ‘The like, er, lie economy?’ Luckily for McDonald’s his price tag is secured squarely on his forehead. See the link below.

  3. Smart Gray Matter
    January 8, 2016

    In light of the pink slime debacle I have to add a fresh comment to this post. With McDonald’s bleeding revenue from mortal wounds they have inflicted upon the consciousness of the consumers they depend on I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if they would have taken the time to build a stronger relationship with their customer base through social media channels. Perhaps we will see the giant fall after all.

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