1) What are the potential advantages and disadvantages for an organization when using social media?
The use of social media has a very wide variety of advantages and disadvantages for companies. In essence it’s an extremely cheap way to reach consumers, and help them develop a brand perception. Companies can use it to hit a wide audience, and show them about a new product, or deal going on. They can also use social media to develop conversations with their consumers. This can positively shape thoughts and ideas about the brand. Also companies can use analytic services figure out the demographics of who is interested in their products. All of this creates tons of buzz, which is very cheap advertising.
Unfortunately this buzz can either be positive or negative. On the flip side, social media has some drawbacks. Using multiple platforms of social media can be extremely time consuming. Companies often need to hire employees to work specifically on social media marketing. These employees have to constantly be posting updates, and responding to consumers. For the companies that are present internationally, their social media never stops. Even national companies that use social media struggle with keeping up with all time zones. Using social media can also be really risky. It opens up doors for angry consumers to complain, and bash at their company.
2) Who are the different audiences McDonald’s needs to keep in mind when planning to use a social media campaign and why?
When starting a social media campaign McDonald’s needs to think about organizations/people that have a positive perception of their brand and organizations/people who have a negative perception of their brand. Frequent McDonald’s consumers might follow along with their campaign to receive coupons, or win prizes. McDonald’s needs to incentivize these consumers to keep them interested all throughout the campaign. It’s a good idea to think about organizations who partner with McDonald’s for example the Asian American Justice Center might be interested in following along with their campaigns. McDonald’s needs to keep in mind these organizations because they work directly with McDonald’s. What McDonald’s does with their campaigns can directly affect them either positively or negatively.
McDonald’s also needs to focus on people and organizations that have a negative stigma of their brand when creating their social media campaigns. Some of these organizations may include People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and any other organization that works towards decreasing obesity. They also should keep in mind different media organizations that write about nutrition and health. All of these organizations will jump at any chance they can get to attack McDonalds. It’s important for McDonald’s to lean on the safe side when it comes to making social media campaigns because it’s such a huge organization, and there are many people out there who dislike it.
3) What would you recommend Wion and his team do to design better future Twitter campaigns for McDonald’s, both specifically and in general?
In general I think it would be smart for Wion and his team start off by looking at the campaigns that its competitors have done to see what has works in the past and what hasn’t. Also I would recommend that they put more effort in to being creative. The #meetthefarmers campaign was moderately successful, but in my eyes it doesn’t stand out very much. A good social campaign should engage people and their consumers with more than just tweets, and should leave them thinking about the campaign for awhile after. A lot of what buzz that went around after their campaign was negative, when it should have been positive.
Also it would be a good idea for Wion and his team to present their campaign idea to others people who don’t work for McDonalds first as a test to see if there is anything negative that they could fix before implementing it officially. I personally think McDonald’s should do a social media campaign that integrates the monopoly game that they do with their consumers, instead of trying to fake being healthy. It seems like Super Size Me has taken a lot of their consumers out, and it will be nearly impossible to convince them to come back.
4) How can Wion and his team better interface with the media, thereby encouraging more accurate reporting in the future? What are suggestions you recommend for doing so, and at what stages of the social media campaign ought you to work with the media?
Wion and his team can work directly with the media before even launching their campaign. They can present their campaign to a series of reporters once they have it ready and have them agree on writing articles about their campaign immediately after they launch it. These articles will increase positive awareness about their campaign. This will also help prevent other organizations in the news industry from giving their campaign negative publicity. Wion and his team should be working directly with non-biased news organizations when trying to promote their campaign.