McDonalds: “I’m loving it” or “I’d rather eat my own diarrhea”?

So, it’s good and bad news for the fast food giant McDonalds.

They recently released their latest annual results and things are looking good for them.

Global comparable sales increased 5.6% and consolidated operating income increased by 14%. The split in individual geographic regions showed the US up 6%, Europe up 15% and APMEA (Asia Pacific/Middle East/Africa) up 27%.

McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner said that they are planning on opening 1,300 new restaurants this year.

Interestingly two of the reasons that McDonalds appears to be doing well despite there being a recession on in lots of countries is that firstly families are trading down from going to the more expensive pizza restaurants such as Pizza Hut and Pizza Express and secondly people are buying McDonalds coffee instead of the more expensive Starbucks and Costa Coffee.

The financials are looking good and that’s the good news.

The bad news is that McDonalds don’t seem to have quite mastered the art of using the social media site, Twitter.

They launched a 24 hour promotional campaign on Twitter whereby they paid for promoted tweets to be inserted into the streams of Twitter users.

The campaign was designed to highlight happy farmer stories and they used two hashtags (for non Twitter users hashtags highlight key words in a tweet).

One of the hashtags used was #McDStories and it was hoped that this would generate lots of positive stories from McDonalds fans.

The hashtag though was hijacked by critics of McDonalds who bombarded the site with negative tweets about McDonalds.

Put it this way. The vast majority of the tweets with the #McDStories hashag in it are extremely unlikely to be seen in any future McDonalds publicity drive.

Some of the tweets that won’t be featuring in the next McDonalds advertising campaign include:

@Memphidelity: “McDialysis? I’m loving it!”

@flatfootphil: “A nice juicy Fillet o’fish. With added worm. Still alive. Nice. Never again.”

@Alice_2112: “Hospitalized for food poisoning after eating McDonalds in 1989. Never ate there again and became a Vegetarian. Should have sued.”

@MuzzaFuzza: “I haven’t been to McDonalds in years, because I’d rather eat my own diarrhea.”

The ExP Group