A few months back, I examined the ultimate failure of McDonald’s attempt to force a social media strategy with #McDsStories.
I then compared their lack of success, one week later, to a very solid campaign by Domino’s, whereby the company opened itself up to criticism in a very public manner.
I guess McDonald’s was listening to me, because their latest campaign feeds off of the “Domino’s Effect”.
This morning I was surfing through Facebook when I came across an ad from McD’s Canada. (Facebook, of course, still has the seedy strategy of getting you to click on ads by showing that your friends like something, but that’s another blog for another time.) The ad directed me to the company’s Facebook page, and a new tab – Our Food. Your Questions.
Here’s what happens – users from social media get to post questions to McDonald’s which populate on said Our Food. Your Questions page. The questions that have been asked so far are pretty diverse, ranging from sugar in their french fries to the possible return of McPizza.
As you scroll through the questions though, there are certain trends that start to emerge among the questions that are and aren’t answered. One of the trends surrounds the long-standing rumour that the McD’s “100% Pure Beef” guarantee. The urban legend, of course, is that the tagline that you see on their wrappers is actually the name of the company that processes the patties.
Now while McDonald’s answers that their beef comes from Cargill and denotes elsewhere that the beef does not contain anything but meat (along with some salt and pepper for seasoning), it doesn’t answer the 100% Pure Beef queries directly, at least not yet – there is an opportunity to “follow” certain queries and be alerted when an answer comes.
To me, this is just asking for trouble. Any sense of aversion to a direct question of that nature will cause consumers to be concerned that they’re not being paid proper attention. McDonald’s could have simply gathered these queries into one section (still using the submittor’s name, photo and city) and group answer, do a Q&A blog or use similar means.
But by having these questions hang, they are putting doubts in the minds of their customers, and ultimately, this will only serve them poorly.