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#McDStories was a promotional Twitter hashtag created by fast food chain restaurant McDonalds in mid-January 2012. McDonalds hoped that users would use the hashtag to share fond memories but consisted mostly of criticism and general negativity.
The campaign began on January 18th when the official McDonald's Twitter account began using the hashtag #MeetTheFarmers, highlighting unique profiles of three different farmers who supply the company with potatoes, lettuce, and beef. The hashtag #McDStories was then used to point people to the main Supplier Stories section of their homepage.
Meet some of the hard-working people dedicated to providing McDs with quality food every day #McDStories mcd.to/zEckNn— McDonald's (@McDonalds) January 18, 2012
Nearly immediately after the hashtag campaign was launched as promotional posts on Twitter, users began telling either horror stories about the food, the employees, or the conditions of local restaurants. WebProNews was the first to pick up on the tweets on January 21st, 2012. Over the next several days, the hashtag's failure was covered by the Huffington Post, the LA Times, Forbes, the Telegraph, The Next Web, Mashable, and the UK Daily Mail. Between the 20th and 24th, McDonald's stock went down 3%, and on the 25th, Twitter Sentiment registered 68% of the tweets with the #McDStories hashtag were negative.
By January 25th, the @McDonalds account had been completely rebranded for a new campaign for a popcorn chicken product, which went off with much less negativity. The same day, Buzzfeed highlighted some of their favorite horror stories.
Rick Wion, the social media director for the company, admitted on January 25th that the campaign was a failure within the first hour. While the official McDonald's Twitter account only used the hashtag twice, during the two hours of promotion, it was used over 1600 times. However, tweets with the hashtag only accounted for 2% of all McDonald's mentions that day.
 Twitter – @McDonalds
 McDonald's – Supplier Stories
 WebProNews – #McDStories: Social Marketing Gone Bad (And Dirty)
 The Independent – Not lovin' it: McDonald's eats humble pie after Twitter backlash
 Business Insider via Wayback Machine – McDonald's Twitter Campaign Goes Horribly Wrong #McDStories
 Huffington Post – #McDStories, McDonald's Twitter Hashtag Promotion, Goes Horribly Wrong
 Los Angeles Times via Wayback Machine – McDonald's #McDStories Twitter marketing effort goes awry
 Forbes – #McDStories: When A Hashtag Becomes A Bashtag
 The Telegraph – McDonald's #McDStories Twitter campaign backfires
 The Next Web – Why #McDStories Didn't Have a Happy Ending
 Mashable – Not Lovin’ It: Twitter Users in Revolt Over McDonald’s Promotion [VIDEO]
 Daily Mail Online – #McFail! McDonalds' Twitter promotion backfires as users hijack #McDstories hashtag to share fast food horror stories
 Huffington Post – Tweet and Be Damned
 Twitter Sentiment – #mcdstories (token expired)
 Business Insider – McDonald's Immediately Follows Its Epic #McDStories Fail With Another Twitter Campaign
 Buzzfeed – #McDStories Twitter Promotion Hijacked By Unhappy Customers
Feb 01, 2012 at 08:08PM EST
Feb 02, 2012 at 12:24AM EST
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