McDonald’s Check’s In to Social Media Controversy and Pundits


Earlier this year, McDonald’s took part in a nationwide FourSqure day by offering $100 gift certificates for lucky Foursquare users who “checked in”.  McDonald’s social media chief reported that it’s success rate was 33% due to the fact that there were more checkin’s on that day than the weeks before.

This has riled the social media purists and elites, i.e., people who talk about social media but cannot show how they’ve executed in the organization. What I find amazing by the fuss around what is and isn’t a metric, that few of the people complaining have accomplished a social media campaign at this level and scope. The fact McDonald’s acknowledges FourSquare and has given all those who champion the medium a sign of confidence.

Metrics aren’t for public debate. Metrics, as long as they were set prior to the campaign are the metrics. And, even if the results of the campaign are different than what was planned marketers should take that opportunity to learn.

Dell is the model of success for tying social media and sales today. However, its first blog post was in 2006 and was about trust and dialogue with the community. Every organization has its own pace of adoption.

For all those criticizing and shaming MickeyD’s for not following the old model of marketing in this new medium, only one recommendation: Watch and Learn.

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