Like an awkward actor on stage, McDonalds has found itself at the mercy of hecklers. McDonalds promoted a tweet for feel-good stories regarding the brand, #McDStories, only to find the hashtag taken over by Twitter users with a sense of the absurd.
Now, #McDStories serves as a case study for what not to do when promoting a tweet. So, what can you do to avoid ever causing such a hashtag nightmare for your brand?
1.) Be self-aware. Know your brand. “If your brand is controversial, political, has been getting bad press, has fierce competition, etc., promoting your tweet may not be a good idea,” says one of MarketingProfs own marketing and tweeting stars, Corey O’Loughlin.
“Here’s why: Promoting your tweet puts you on EVERYONE’S radar—not just your fans’ who would normally love to hear from you.” And when you are top of mind for all of Twitter, it is far more likely that you’ll attract attention from haters.
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) January 18, 2012
2.) Know why you are promoting your tweet. “What’s your desired outcome?” asks O’Loughlin. “What’s your call to action? What’s the promotion linked to? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, don’t tweet.”
3.) Do a test run. Send the tweet as a NON-promoted tweet to see what reaction it gets. If it’s not positive, why promote it?
4.) Support your tweet. One promoted tweet won’t stand on its own. You need to develop a plan for the promoted tweet. Be sure to support the promoted tweet with other tweets. If you’re promoting the world’s best mocha, also tweet about mochas, recipes, etc. Don’t leave the tweet out in the cold by its lonesome.
5.) Know when to pull the plug. If your promoted item is getting out of hand, pull the plug ASAP and start your damage control. (Reminder: Have a damage-control plan for your social media efforts.) “Hoping it will go away is not an effective social media marketing strategy,” says O’Loughlin.
Wondering about your own Twitter reputation? Check out our free guide, “How to be a Twitter Superfly in 12 Simple Steps.”