How do organizations transition from listening to participating?
This is a question that I have been wondering about myself. What would motivate a company to go from being insular to one that is prepared to engage in two way communication? Why would a company transition from old school marketing with its easy to understand costs and impacts to one, Social media, that is unknown and whose outcome is , at best , murky, and at worst, might be viewed as dangerous to a companies bottom line. This is especially true of large organizations. The larger the organization, with the inference that competition is less of a issue then say a smaller organization, the more aggressive they will be in framing their Brand is a positive light. The answer and motivation is declining sales and bad P.R.
Enter McDonalds. “The McDonalds Corporation is worlds largest chain of Hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily…” (wikipedia), and yet they have transitioned from a one way communications model, Questions and Answers on a Webb page to a Cutting edge Social Media campaign. Why would they do this? McDonald’s as “…it tries to recover from 4 straight months of declining U.S. same store sales”
McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) “which hasn’t always gotten a warm reception on social media is taking to Twitter, facebook, and YouTube with a Q&a style ad campaign, aiming to dispel the notion that it’s food is unhealthy
This program may ultimately prove to be a defining moment in the world of Social Media. The success or failure of this exercise may well be instrumental in determining whether corporations adopt Social Media as a marketing tool or not. accHow will it be determined whether this program is a success or failure? Some might say that the use of analytical software such as Social Media Metrics or Google Analytics, which provide information on twitter responses or Social Media traffic stats, will define whether the campaign is a success or failure. The thing that will get a corporations attention however and will determine whether Social Media will play a role in any future marketing campaigns will be this. Can a link be created between the campaign and a reversal ” to …from 4 straight months of declining U.S. same store sales” and it’s accompanying hit to it’s stock value. This will determine whether corporations change their opinions about the value of Social Media and whether or not it will have an impact on It’s R.O.I.
The finial word goes to Ben Stringfellow, a spokesperson for McDonald’s U.S.A., who said in a statement “We’re looking forward to engaging in two-way conversations with as many people as possible”
To which I say Bravo
Does their Social Media campaign change how you feel about their food and their restaurants? Please let me know, and yes your pet frog is in the mail